Moving up? – Billy Joe Saunders weighs heaviest for ex-Carl Froch foe
Billy Joe Saunders makes his long-awaited return to the ring at the Manchester Arena to battle late replacement Charles Adamu.
After admittedly going off the rails once dropping his WBO title in October, promoter Frank Warren wanted him back focused quickly.
Saunders was then added to the blockbuster bill. The card is topped by Josh Warrington defending his IBF world featherweight title against two-weight world champion Carl Frampton.
The year of 2018 has represented a period of enforced inactivity and injury frustration for the now former WBO world middleweight champion. Saunders relinquished the belt following the failure of the Massachusetts Commission to issue him a licence. A mandatory defence was due against Demetrius Andrade in Boston.
Two scheduled defences against Martin Murray were both aborted due to injuries suffered by the champion. This resulted in Saunders not building on the momentum of a hugely positive and busy end to 2017.
His last fight and perhaps his career-best performance to date came nearly a year ago when he travelled to Canada to put his title on the line against the big-hitting David Lemieux.
Scaling 178 pounds on Friday, Saunders is now being linked to a permanent move up to 168 pounds.
Saunders was a full five pounds north of his previous highest for Yoann Bloyer in 2015.
Originally slated to face Zolton Sera, Adamu was drafted in once that fight was off the menu during fight week.
Adamu, 41, has lost thirteen of 45 contests and has been defeated by the likes of George Groves, Carl Froch, Rocky Fielding and Isaac Chilemba.
Therefore, Saunders begins a huge favorite for his early billed outing (5:30 pm UK time).
Mark Heffron and Liam Williams contest the vacant British middleweight title. Belfast’s blue-chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) takes on former Commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham (24-5).
Martin Murray defends his WBC Silver middleweight title against Hassan N’Dam. Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy Fury also makes his professional debut.
Elsewhere on the bill. World flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1). Unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0) return to action.
Manchester’s 12-0 Light Heavyweight Lyndon Arthur. 7-0 Darlington middleweight Troy Williamson also feature.
Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available. Tickets available via Manchester Arena.