What is a quadripod fracture that Billy Joe Saunders suffered during his fight with Canelo Alvarez?

Canelo Alvarez v Billy Joe Saunders
Canelo Alvarez v Billy Joe Saunders

Billy Joe Saunders suffered a quadripod fracture during his much-awaited boxing clash against Canelo Alvarez this Saturday. The British boxer was forced to throw the towel in after his trainer found him unfit to continue fighting.

Saunders was rushed to the hospital and it was revealed that he broke his orbital bone, thanks to Alvarez's stunning uppercut.

A quadripod fracture is also known as zygomaticomaxillary complex fracture and was formerly called a tripod fracture or a trimalar fracture. It occurs when there is a break in the zygomatic bone, commonly known as the cheekbone.

The zygomatic bone is attached to four different parts of the skull, namely the frontal bone, the maxillary bone, the sphenoid bone, and the orbital floor.

The four attachments of the zygomatic bone. (Image credits: CiteSeerX )
The four attachments of the zygomatic bone. (Image credits: CiteSeerX )

When the zygomatic bone is detached from these four attachments - as the term 'quad' suggests - one can be diagnosed with a quadripod fracture. Such was the case with Saunders when Alvarez landed a clean uppercut to his cheek.

Dr. David Abbasi, ringside physician for boxing and MMA events, has an in-depth explanation of what really happened to Saunders. You can watch the video below:


Does a quadripod fracture leave a question mark on Billy Joe Saunders' career?

Canelo Alvarez v Billy Joe Saunders
Canelo Alvarez v Billy Joe Saunders

According to sports promoter Eddie Hearn, Billy Joe Saunders is likely to be out of action for a "long, long time." Although a quadripod fracture could very well be a career-threatening injury, Saunders can resume his boxing journey, provided he takes all precautionary measures while recovering.

Former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook sustained a similar injury to Saunders, but he was able to step back into the boxing ring in less than a year.

Heavyweight boxer Daniel Dubois also broke his orbital bone in November last year against Joe Joyce. Still, the Englishman is expected to return to action in June 2021, where he will challenge Romania's Bogdan Dinu for the vacant WBA interim heavyweight title. However, it must be noted that neither of the two boxers suffered a quadripod fracture.

Billy Joe Saunders was defeated for the first time in his professional boxing career by Canelo Alvarez. The British boxer lost his WBO super middleweight title, giving Alvarez an opportunity to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion. The Mexican will most likely fight Caleb Plant in a title unification bout.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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