Saunders Doubtful WBO Title Fight Happens
Former WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders is not hopeful that his return to the world title stage will happen, as new issues have arisen.
Last month the WBO announced that Saunders and Shefat Isufi were set to face off for the then-vacant super middleweight title. The two sides were issued a letter from the governing body stating the vacant title fight would be set to happen on April 13th in London.
Yet last week, the man who initially abdicated the title, Gilberto Ramirez, denied he walked away from the title after moving up to 175 pounds,
Ramirez claims he spoke with WBO President, Francisco Valcárcel, and received permission to fight at 175 while continuing to maintain his status as super middleweight champion, as long as he consented to a mandatory order to fight Jesse Hart in a rematch – which Ramirez won in December.
“I have not vacated the title, I will fight at 175 pounds to see how I feel, I spoke to Paquito (Valcárcel), I told him I have an optional fight and he gave me his support,” Ramirez told ESTO.
With the validity of the title being on the line in question, so is Saunders moving up to super middleweight or even facing Isufi.
“I’m sort of limited as to what I can really say about it,” Saunders told talkSPORT’s Fight Night.
“But this is it, I told Frank Warren I want that world title fight, I agreed for it to be a world title fight and now Ramirez is still world champion. If it’s not for the full world title like everybody agreed… I’m not saying it’s Frank’s fault, but we announced it and he’s still world champion. It’s not good for this fight, it’s not looking too good at this stage to be honest with you.”
Quotes via Boxing Scene