Billy Joe Saunders will indeed get a chance to fight for a WBO world title soon, but not the one everyone expected.
In a somewhat unexpected twist, it was announced that Saunders will face Shefat Isufi for the vacant WBO super middleweight title on April 13 at the SSE Arena in Wembley. The fight will be Saunders' first title bout as a super middleweight.
Rumors of the potential fight between Saunders and Isufi started the day before before when the latest WBO rankings no longer lists Gilberto Ramirez as the organization's super middleweight champion. In the new rankings, Saunders was ranked No. 2 at super middleweight and no longer ranked as the organization's top middleweight.
Saunders was recently installed as the mandatory challenger for the WBO middleweight title currently being held by Demetrius Andrade. Saunders lost the belt after failing a drug test weeks before a title defense against Andrade in Boston last year. The 29-year-old Saunders held the WBO middleweight title from 2015 to 2018, making three successful title defenses.
Isufi is a Serbian boxer who has held the WBO Intercontinental title since 2017. Isufi, who sports a 27-3-2 pro record, has won his last 10 fights with seven of those wins coming from inside the distance.
At middleweight, Gennady Golovkin, still boxing's biggest broadcast free agent, has been named the new No. 1 contender for the WBO title. The middleweight division's world champions is mostly comprised of boxers fighting on the DAZN streaming service. Andrade, Daniel Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez, all middleweight champions, have signed deals to fight on DAZN and the streaming service is currently rumored to be the front-runner to sign Golovkin.
When it comes to champions at super middleweight, Callum Smith holds the WBA "Super" title, Alvarez has the WBA "Regular" title and Caleb Plant is the current IBF champion with the WBC title vacant.