Billy Joe Saunders’ first WBO world middleweight title defence moved to Cardiff

PUBLISHED: 15:44 26 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:45 27 September 2016

WBO world middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders from Hatfield. Picture courtesy of Frank Warren

WBO world middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders from Hatfield. Picture courtesy of Frank Warren


Billy Joe Saunders will now make the first defence of his WBO world middleweight title at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, on Saturday, October 22.

The change of venue, from Manchester, comes just three days after Tyson Fury’s WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight defence against Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko, due to take place on October 29, was postponed for a second time because of medical issues for the champion.

Hatfield’s Saunders was all set to face an as yet unknown challenger in the north west on the same show before Fury’s withdrawal.

His opponent for his Welsh showdown will be announced later this week.

The 27-year-old knows it is vital that he makes a successful maiden defence of his WBO crown if he is to remain on track to meet Gennady Golovkin, who holds the WBA Super, IBF and WBC titles, in a mouth-watering blockbuster clash with all the titles on the line in the new year.

Saunders is delighted to be making his long-awaited return to the ring and is promising Cardiff fight fans an explosive performance.

“I can’t wait to shake the cobwebs off and get back in there where I belong; it’s been too long,” said Saunders.

“Every fight is dangerous at this stage so it is important that I don’t overlook or underestimate anybody.

“I have worked long and hard to get where I am today and there are some huge fights out there for me.

“I need to take care of this fight and then I’ll move on to bigger and better things.

“I’m fully focused on the job in hand and putting on an explosive performance down in Cardiff. I can’t wait to get this show on the road.”

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