As Billy Joe Saunders enters his WBO super middleweight title fight against Shefat Isufi, Saunders reflected on a difficult 2018 that saw him experience multiple career lows.
Last year, Saunders has suffered injuries and had a WBO middleweight title defense against Martin Murray be postponed multiple times before the fight was ultimately canceled. Afterwards, Saunders was going to defend his title against Demetrius Andrade but Saunders would go on to vacate the title after failing a drug test weeks before the fight.
During the final press conference, Saunders talked about this past year and stated that he is excited for the challenges ahead of fighting at super middleweight. Although Saunders said his focus is on Isufi for their May 18 fight, he did say he wants to face the best at 168 pounds, a division that also includes fellow British stars Callum Smith, Chris Eubank Jr. and John Ryder.
"This has been a long time coming. I had a terrible 2018 and feel my title was robbed from me. I jumped at this fight when it was offered and I will become a two-weight world champion. I’m not looking past Isufi, but I am looking for the big names. I am 29, I know I have got it inside me and nobody has seen my best," Saunders said.
Both Saunders and Isufi had no problem at the scales as they successfully made weight for their world title fight. The two are set to headline a Queensberry Promotions card from Lamex Stadium in Stevenage in the United Kingdom on May 18. The fight, as well as several undercard fights, will be streamed in the United States on ESPN+.