Saunders Admits Isufi Is A Tough Opponent
Fighting for a world title for the first time he was stripped of his WBO middleweight title, Billy Joe Saunders doesn’t expect it to be a cake walk.
Saunders will face off against Shefat Isufi at Lamex Stadium on May 18th, with the “interim” WBO super middleweight title on the line.
The fight was initially set for the vacant WBO super middleweight crown, but Gilberto Ramirez has maintained his claim as champion, even though he’s graduated up to light-heavyweight.
Saunders, 29, said: “It is one of them where people don’t expect too much, but Isufi can be very dangerous.
“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.
Saunders has joined fellow UK Boxer Tyson Fury in training under Ben Davison, after ending his relationship with former trainer Dominic Ingle.
Doubling down on his training, Saunders has spent the last two months living in a Manchester hotel while training with Davison 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.
“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.”
Report: Boxing News 24