King of Herts: Billy Joe Saunders to fight Shefat Isufi at football stadium
Billy Joe Saunders will bid for two-weight title glory on May 18 after promoter Frank Warren confirmed details of a football stadium clash.
The former WBO middleweight ruler is pitted against Shefat Isufi this spring at the home of Stevenage FC.
Saunders returns following only a single appearance in the whole of 2018.
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS will fight Shefat Isufi for the WBO Interim super middleweight world title on Saturday, May 18 at The Lamex Stadium. The ground is the home of Stevenage Football Club. Saunders fight will be live on BT Sport.
For Saunders, 27-0, the big night in the centre of the pitch at Stevenage will represent a first professional fight on home turf in Hertfordshire. The 29-year-old southpaw stylist hails from nearby Hatfield.
The former Southern Area, Commonwealth, British, WBO International and European champion was an undefeated WBO world champion at middleweight. He won the belt in December 2015 with a points victory over former champion Andy Lee.
Successful defences followed against Artur Akavov, Willie Monroe Jr. And, most notably, a career-best performance against David Lemieux on away soil in Canada.
He was set to make a further defence last October against mandatory challenger Demetrius Andrade. But eventually opted to relinquish his title after the Massachusetts commission refused to licence him to fight in Boston after an adverse finding in a VADA test.
This was despite the fact he would have been clear to defend under the rules of the British Boxing Board of Control, as well as the UKAD and WADA agencies that govern doping protocols.
Saunders returned to the ring in December in a keep busy exercise against Charles Adamu. He was recently installed as mandatory challenger for his previous title. Andrade now holds the old belt.
He will now break new territory by moving up to 168lbs. Saunders is seeking to reign at a second weight class.
His opponent is the WBO No.1 ranked Munich-based Serbian Isufi. He holds a record of 27-3-2 with 20 KOs.
The 29-year-old is the holder of the WBO Intercontinental title. Isufi has made two defences of the belt. He originally won it by defeating David Zegarra via an 11th round stoppage for the vacant title in July 2017.
He has previously fought for and won the IBF European title at light heavyweight. As well as the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council cruiserweight title.
Isufi is undefeated as a super middleweight.
Saunders vs Isufi at the Lamex Stadium is subject to licensing. Tickets go on sale via www.borotickets.co.uk on April 1st.
Tickets are priced as below:
£200 – Hospitality
£150 – Pitch
£100 – Pitch
£75 – Pitch
£50 – Stand
£40 – Stand