Saunders keen to prove himself in 2019

Former WBO Middleweight World Champion, Billy Joe Saunders, is set to face Shefat Isufi, for the WBO interim…

Former WBO Middleweight World Champion, Billy Joe Saunders, is set to face Shefat Isufi, for the WBO interim super-middleweight world title at the Lamex Stadium in Stevenage on May 18th.

Isufi, hailing from Albania, but fighting out of Munich, is the number one contender at super middleweight in the WBO. He is also the current WBO Intercontinental Champion. Isufi will enter the ring on May 18th on the back of a ten fight winning streak, determined to cause an upset.

Saunders meanwhile is keen to establish himself as a two-weight world champion after losing his middleweight crown outside of the ring, during a substance mix-up before his fight with Demetrius Andrade in 2018.

While on paper Isufi provides Saunders with the perfect transition into 168lbs, a fight on the home patch in Hertfordshire adds a different sort of pressure to Saunders, who is keen to impress on May 18th.

“This is a good homecoming, but a bit of pressure because I have never boxed so close to home,” said Saunders. “I’ve got to make sure I’m on my game because Isufi is looking to take my head off. My mind has got to be focused and set new challenges.”

Speaking on his current training set-up, Saunders explained why Ben Davison will be taking the reins from Dominic Ingle during this camp.

“I love the Ingle gym and loved working with Dominic Ingle, and there are no hard feelings – he may even be in the corner with Ben,” explained Saunders. “There is unfinished business in me, and people haven’t seen the best.”

“I have never been more determined, and I have a lot to prove this year. I had a terrible 2018 inside and outside the ring, and I know I have to be on top flight for Isufi.”

“I am open to boxing at super-middleweight and middleweight. I’ve not got miles on the clock, in my 27 fights I have taken ten hard punches and I am just coming into my prime. I believe I am the best middleweight and super-middleweight in the world bar none. I want to get noticed at 168lb.”

Keen to fight the very best in the division, Saunders is eyeing a showdown with the undefeated WBC, WBA, and Ring Magazine Champion, Callum Smith.

“I would definitely fancy a fight against Callum Smith,” said Saunders. “I mentioned it to Frank before that it would be a good fight to make. He is a great fighter and the type I want to test myself against. It would be hard to say, ‘No’ to that fight.”

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