Billy Joe Saunders and Shefat Isufi will now get an opportunity to become the sole WBO world champion at 168 pounds.
According to promoter Frank Warren, the main event of the May 18 boxing card in Stevenage, England will now be for the vacant WBO super middleweight title. The news would mean that Gilberto Ramirez has vacated the WBO super middleweight title as he is looking to challenge for a world title at light heavyweight.
-- WORLD TITLE ON THE LINE --— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) May 4, 2019
It’s now been confirmed that @bjsaunders_ clash with Shefat Isufi on May 18th at @StevenageFC will be for the full version of the WBO World Super Middleweight Title--
Great chance for Bill to become a 2-weight world champion! -- #KingOfHerts pic.twitter.com/TGbmt110xz
Originally, the fight was going to be for the seemingly-vacant title in April after the WBO rankings at the time stated that Ramirez relinquished the title to go up to light heavyweight. Although Ramirez fought at light heavyweight on April 12, he never vacated the title and so the Saunders vs. Isufi fight was moved to May 18 with the interim title on the line. With Ramirez now appearing dead set on fighting at 175 pounds, the 168-pound title will be up for grabs on May 18.
Saunders is a former WBO middleweight champion but vacated the title after failing a drug test weeks before a title defense against Demetrius Andrade in Boston last October. Andrade would end up winning the vacant middleweight title by defeating Walter Kautondokwa.
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.