Billy Joe Saunders 'finally home' as Stevenage Football Club provides venue for next fight

PUBLISHED: 14:09 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:22 25 March 2019

Boxing promoter Frank Warren and Billy Joe Saunders announce his next fight against Shefat Isufi at the Lamex stadium, home of Stevenage FC. Picture: DANNY LOO

Boxing promoter Frank Warren and Billy Joe Saunders announce his next fight against Shefat Isufi at the Lamex stadium, home of Stevenage FC. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

There will be a familiar view for Billy Joe Saunders in his next fight as he battles it out for the first time as a professional in Hertfordshire.

Boxing promoter Frank Warren and Billy Joe Saunders announce his next fight against Shefat Isufi at the Lamex stadium, home of Stevenage FC. Picture: DANNY LOOBoxing promoter Frank Warren and Billy Joe Saunders announce his next fight against Shefat Isufi at the Lamex stadium, home of Stevenage FC. Picture: DANNY LOO

He will face Germany’s Shefat Isufi at the Lamex Stadium, home of Stevenage Football Club, on May 18 for the WBO interim super middleweight world title.

And the Hatfield man is delighted to be able to showcase his skills in his home county.

He said: “I am very, very happy for the fight to be more or less taking place in my home town.

“Stevenage and Hatfield is my area and I am excited to be fighting in front of my home fans and I am finally home.

Boxing promoter Frank Warren and Billy Joe Saunders announce his next fight against Shefat Isufi at the Lamex stadium, home of Stevenage FC. Picture: DANNY LOOBoxing promoter Frank Warren and Billy Joe Saunders announce his next fight against Shefat Isufi at the Lamex stadium, home of Stevenage FC. Picture: DANNY LOO

“This is my real homecoming from the time I turned pro really.”

It will be the 29-year-old’s first bout at the higher weight, having made his name and winning his world title at middleweight.

This fight had originally been scheduled as another world title affair with current champion Gilberto Ramirez expected to vacate the belt and switch to light heavyweight.

However, the Mexican has since retracted that statement, even though he is going to fight at the higher weight next month.

Boxing promoter Frank Warren and Billy Joe Saunders announce his next fight against Shefat Isufi at the Lamex stadium, home of Stevenage FC. Picture: DANNY LOOBoxing promoter Frank Warren and Billy Joe Saunders announce his next fight against Shefat Isufi at the Lamex stadium, home of Stevenage FC. Picture: DANNY LOO

“It is what it is and no problem,” said Saunders. “I shall fight this number one ranked opponent and take his spot. Then I’ll fight Ramirez after.

“If he moves up I would become world champion but I don’t want to win it that way because I want to beat the champion.

“It is all good vibes from me, I am willing to fight anybody in the super middleweight or middleweight category and put on a masterful display.”

Saunders’ promoter Frank Warren, himself no stranger to Hertfordshire, added: “I am delighted to be returning Bill to his home patch for what is a significant development in his career.

“Moving up to super middleweight opens up all sorts of doors for future fights. The massive fights he craved at middleweight and his willingness to fight the other champions was not reciprocated.

“Stevenage is new territory for us and I am looking forward to breaking new ground. I am sure the local fans will come out in numbers to support their man as Bill enters this next phase of his career.”

The fight is still subject to licensing but tickets will go on sale via www.borotickets.co.uk on April 1.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists