Former WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders is set to break a year of inactivity with a tune-up return fight on Saturday’s Warrington-Frampton undercard, and now he has a new opponent for the bout.
Saunders (26-0, 12 KO) will face Charles Adamu (32-13, 25 KO), a 41-year-old veteran from Ghana, instead of the originally scheduled Zoltan Sera. The change shouldn’t much affect Saunders.
Saunders has had what you could nicely call a rocky 2018. He dipped out of two dates with perennial back-end top 10 contender Martin Murray, with many believing that Saunders was angling for a money fight with either Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin instead, when Alvarez and Golovkin were having major issues agreeing to terms for a rematch.
Instead, Alvarez and Golovkin did come to an agreement, and Saunders was left out in the cold. So he scheduled a defense against former 154-pound titleholder Demetrius Andrade in Boston, and then failed a VADA drug test, blaming it on nasal spray. Ultimately the fight fell through, he was stripped of his title, and all the momentum he build with a Dec. 2017 decimation of David Lemieux was pretty much gone.
So Saunders will try to get back into the swing of things starting on Saturday, with eyes toward 2019. Sera was no real threat, and neither is Adamu. We’ll hopefully see something bigger from him next year, because 2018 was a wasted year in the prime of Saunders’ career.