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
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.
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.
“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.
“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.