Billy Joe Saunders to step up to super middleweight to face unknown Isufi for WBO world title

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.

Billy Joe Saunders to step up to super middleweight to face unknown Isufi for WBO world titlePA: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.

Most Read in Boxing Billy Joe Saunders to step up to super middleweight to face unknown Isufi for WBO world titleExclusiveAJ's UPPERCUT Boxing champ Anthony Joshua goes 'under the knife' for £400 facial treatment Billy Joe Saunders to step up to super middleweight to face unknown Isufi for WBO world titleRevealedGREAT ESC-APE Mike Tyson offered zoo keeper £9,000 to fight a silverback gorilla in a cage Billy Joe Saunders to step up to super middleweight to face unknown Isufi for WBO world titleEu can count on me Eubank Jr may have cashed in on dad's name but vows not to blow fortune Billy Joe Saunders to step up to super middleweight to face unknown Isufi for WBO world titleI BELIZE IN MIRACLES AJ opponent Miller is a horse-riding, nappy wearing philanthropist Billy Joe Saunders to step up to super middleweight to face unknown Isufi for WBO world titleJAR RULED Fury claims he floored Jarrell Miller seven times in sparring and sent him home Billy Joe Saunders to step up to super middleweight to face unknown Isufi for WBO world titleExclusivelew blew it Lennox: AJ's bad decisions cost him Wilder undisputed showdown Billy Joe Saunders to step up to super middleweight to face unknown Isufi for WBO world titleExclusive'EmbarraSsing' MVP gives verdict on DeGale vs Eubank Jr after sparring rows with both men Billy Joe Saunders to step up to super middleweight to face unknown Isufi for WBO world titleExclusiveHidden depths DeGale channelling Muhammad Ali with underwater training for Eubank Jr bout
Billy Joe Saunders to step up to super middleweight to face unknown Isufi for WBO world titleSportsfile – 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."

Billy Joe Saunders to step up to super middleweight to face unknown Isufi for WBO world titlePA: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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *