BILLY JOE SAUNDERS will step up to super-middleweight to challenge for the WBO world title against the unheralded Shefat Isufi.
Saunders, once the WBO middleweight champion, will challenge for the 168lb title on Saturday April 13 at the Wembley Arena.
PA:Press Association3 Saunders will step up to super-middleweight to challenge for the WBO world title against Shefat Isufi
Last October Saunders lost his WBO middleweight strap after failing a voluntary VADA test before his title defence against Demetrius Andrade.
The Hatfield southpaw has since been cleared to by the British Board of Boxing Control, as well as UK Anti Doping and World Anti Doping Agency.
However, the 29-year-old has opted against chasing the fight that never was with Andrade, as he attempts to become a two-weight world champion.
In his way stands WBO No1 ranked contender Isufi, a Munich based Serbian with a record of 27-3-2 – but unknown in UK shores.
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Sportsfile – Subscription3 The WBO title was vacated by Gilberto Ramírez, who moves up to light-heavyweight
The WBO title was vacated by Gilberto Ramírez, who moves up to light-heavyweight – targeting a fight with 175lb champion Sergey Kovalev.
Saunders cited the possibility of fighting the winner of James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr, led him to move up to 168lb – but will not rule out a move back down to his “home” middleweight division.
He said: “Me winning this super-middleweight title will put me in position for unification with the likes of Callum Smith, while we’ve got Chris Eubank boxing James DeGale at the weekend.
“There are a lot of big, big fights at this weight, but my real home of homes is middleweight, so I can move down at anytime I want and be back as mandatory for my middleweight title and become a three-time world champion."
PA:Press Association3 James DeGale and Chris Eubank meet at the O2 on Saturday night in a domestic grudge match
Meanwhile, Saunders friend Tyson Fury is set to snub a rematch with WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder after signing a co-promotional deal with Frank Warren and Bob Arum's Top Rank stable.
Wilder is with Arum and ESPN's promotional and broadcast rivals Al Haymon and Showtime – meaning boxing politics will stand in the way of yet another vital fight.