Originally announced as a clash for the WBO super middleweight title, Billy Joe Saunders vs. Shefat Isufi ran into trouble when the belt’s current owner, Gilberto Ramirez, revealed he wasn’t actually vacating ahead of his move to 175 pounds. Things appear to finally be resolved, though; the fight is official for May 18th in Hertfordshire’s Lamex Stadium, home of Stevenage FC, and will determine the interim champion.
BREAKING: SAUNDERS SET FOR HOME SOIL RETURN IN STEVENAGE @bjsaunders_ will take on Shefat Isufi for the WBO Interim World Super Middleweight Title on May 18th at the Lamex Stadium, home of @StevenageFC live on @btsport #KingOfHerts #SaundersIsufi pic.twitter.com/XgrVbPLILP— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) March 25, 2019
Saunders (27-0, 13 KO) had something of a nightmare 2018, as a failed drug test scrapped a fight with Demetrius Andrade and led to the former vacating the WBO middleweight belt he’d defended thrice. He ultimately returned last December after a year away to finish Charles Adamu on the Josh Warrington-Carl Frampton undercard.
Isufi (27-3-2, 20 KO) has won 10 straight, though the majority of those victories came at random weights at or around light heavyweight and none of them came against competent fighters. It is entirely unclear to me how he got his ranking; none of his three actual wins at super middleweight came over fighters in the BoxRec top 150.