Saunders-Isufi for WBO interim title now

Billy Joe Saunders will fight WBO #1 Shefat Isufi for the WBO interim super middleweight world title on May 18 at The Lamex Stadium, home of Stevenage Football Club. For Saunders, this will represent a first professional fight on home turf in Hertfordshire, with the 29-year-old southpaw stylist hailing from nearby Hatfield.

Saunders was initially set to fight for the full WBO world championship against Isufi following the planned move of the champion Gilberto Ramirez to light heavyweight. After notifying the governing body of his intention to leave the division, Zurdo later retracted his statement, although he will fight for the first time at light heavyweight on April 12 in Los Angeles.

Saunders is unfazed by the about-turn and states that he would prefer to personally part the champion from his belt in the ring.

“It is what it is and no problem,” he said. “I shall fight this #1 ranked opponent and I will be taking his spot and then I will fight Ramirez after. Let’s get that fight going on. If he moves up I would become world champion but I don’t want to win it that way because I want to beat the champion.

“It is all good vibes from me, I am willing to fight anybody in the super middleweight or middleweight category and put on a masterful display.”

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