Billy Joe Saunders, Ortiz v Ustinov heading to Canelo v Smith
WBO middleweight title holder Billy Joe Saunders is set to land a coveted place on the huge world championship bill featuring Canelo Alvarez and Liam Smith on September 17 in Las Vegas.
The 26 year-old was linked to a fight with Gennady Golovkin until the pound for pound star opened talks with rival Chris Eubank Jr, although Saunders will now make his American pay-per-view debut once details of the contest are finalized.
Saunders has racked up 23 wins and 12 stoppages in the pro ranks and recently defeated tough Irishman Andy Lee on points to build on his impressive but close split win over Eubank Jr in November 2014.
Joining Saunders on the card at the world famous MGM Grand will be interim WBA heavyweight champion Luis Ortiz in a mandated defense against Alexander Ustinov. The Cuban has been ruthless in making it to 25-0 with 22 KO’s since entering the paid code in 2010 and will be a massive favourite to overcome the Russian.
As per the WBA’s top division tournament announced late last year, the winner of that contest will be the new mandatory challenger to the eventual victor of Tyson Fury v Wladimir Klitschko II, which is slated to go down on October 29 in Manchester following a delay.
Fury injured his ankle in the build-up and needs more time to prepare as the Briton bids to do what no man has ever done before…and defeat the solid former title holder twice.