Saunders Needed “Fresh Start” At 168
2018 wasn’t a good year for Billy Joe Saunders.
Hampered by injuries, a failed drug test, and an embarrassing video of the former middleweight champion taunting and chastising a homeless drug addict, Saunders has been working on righting the wrongs set last year.
On Saturday, Saunders looks to become a two-division champion, fighting Shefat Isufi for the vacant WBO super middleweight title.
“We will see when I box at this new weight, but I won’t have to boil myself down,” Saunders told Nick Parkinson of fighting at 168-pounds. “I feel more strength at the weight and my weight has been good all the way through and I’ve just got to put it into a performance.
“Shefat Isufi is very strong and he’s got punch power because he’s stopped 20 out of 27 wins, but I believe my skills set will be too much for him. I believe Ramirez is moving up and won’t be performing at super-middleweight no more so that’s great news for me and Isufi that we get to fight for the full title.”
One of the major changes Saunders has made in 2019, is joining friend Tyson Fury by training with Ben Davison and ending his time under Dominic Ingle.
“Me and Tyson training at the same gym is great and we rub off on each other,” said Saunders. “I’m at Hatton’s Gym 24/7. I’ve got a caravan in the car park in Manchester there.
“I needed a complete change in everything. I was a bit stale there [in Sheffield] and it was a bit overcrowded for what I needed. Golovkin and Canelo were tied up together last year and 2018 was just a bad one for me. I needed a new start.”
Initial Report: ESPN