Billy Joe Saunders returns to action on May 18 at the Lamex Stadium but insists that he will not be underestimating Shefat Isufi in their super-middleweight showdown.
Saunders will enter the ring as the heavy favourite against the Albanian, Isufi, as the pair go toe to toe for the WBO ‘Interim’ Super Middleweight World Title.
Isufi is currently ranked number one in the WBO with Saunders just behind him at number two.
“It is one of them where people don’t expect too much, but Isufi can be very dangerous,” said Saunders. “He has come from nothing and got his big chance. You don’t get ranked number one in the world for nothing, especially with who he is promotion-wise.
“He has boxed his way into that position. I have to take him seriously and deal with him appropriately.”
Since his lasting outing in December, Saunders has parted ways with Dominic Ingle, teamed up with Ben Davison and is training at Ricky Hatton’s gym.
“I am loving it at Hatton’s gym with Ben, and I am just enjoying it again, added Saunders.
“I have to be happy at what I am doing, and I will get the best out of myself. If It’s not like that it can become a slog.
“There is no secret that 2018 was a terrible year with terrible memories. Everything got to me a little bit.
“I just needed a complete change. It was the same when I was with Jimmy Tibbs. He was the best coach. I always use the term ‘coach’ and ‘trainer’, and he was the best purist coach I have been around.
“I just needed a change then because my head was going stale. Sometimes when your head goes stale, you need that bit of change as a fighter, and that is what I needed to get that spark.
“I have to stay ready. Because of my style – slick and fast, you don’t get to keep that forever, so I want to show it while I’ve got it and beat whoever they put in front of me.”