WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders and promoter Frank Warren have parted ways, meaning the boxer is now a promotional free agent.
Queensberry Promotions posted a statement on its website confirming the news, but the split was said to be amicable after about a decade working together and multiple world titles won during their relationship.
The move came after a failed attempt at getting Saunders a unification fight with WBA champion Callum Smith. In their last fight together in April, Saunders moved up in weight and defeated Shefat Isufi to become the new WBO champion at 168 pounds. Warren said he wishes nothing but the best for the remainder of the boxer's career.
"I’ve really enjoyed working with Billy Joe through his whole professional career and guiding him to become British, Commonwealth, European and a two Weight World Champion. I’m personally very fond of Billy Joe and I wish him every success in the remainder of his career," Warren said.
While a part of Queensberry Promotions, Saunders won the WBO world titles at middleweight and super middleweight and unbeaten in 28 pro bouts since his debut in 2009. Like Warren, Saunders talked about being thankful of all the years having worked with him.
“First of all, I just want to say a massive thank you to Frank for everything he has done for my career over the past decade. Frank signed me after the 2008 Olympics and was with me every step of the way as I won the British, Commonwealth and European titles before becoming a world champion in two divisions. It feels a little bittersweet and I’ll always be appreciative for everything Frank has done for me. We’ll stay close,” Saunders said.
Now Saunders will be targeted by multiple promotional bodies, mainly Matchroom Boxing, who promote Smith, interim WBA champion John Ryder and former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs, who is said to be considering a move up in weight. PBC also has two champions at 168 pounds -- WBC titleholder Anthony Dirrell and IBF titleholder Caleb Plant.