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Billy Joe Saunders explains why he passed up mandatory title shot with Demetrius Andrade

Saunders will instead make a move to 168lbs to face Shefat Isufi.

Tyson Fury and Billy Joe Saunders Workout Session Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Billy Joe Saunders (27-0, 13 KOs) is set to take on Sefat Isufi (27-3-2, 20 KOs) this weekend at super middleweight, turning down a chance to try to reclaim his WBO middleweight title against Demetrius Andrade.

Saunders and Andrade we due to meet last year in Boston when Andrade was going to compete for Saunder’s world title, but that fight fell apart after Saunders tested positive for a banned substance, which he and his promoter claimed was simply a result of Saunders using a decongestant nasal spray.

That reasoning didn’t get him a pass with the Massachusetts commission however, so they refused to license Saunders and Saunders was then sort of forced to vacate his title, otherwise be stripped by the WBO. Andrade would go on to win that vacated title beating facing Walter Kautondokwa, and just a couple of months later the WBO would officially order Saunders to step back in as Andrade’s mandatory challenger.

Saunders didn’t accept the fight, however, and now tells WBN why he wasn’t interesting in taking that title shot.

“For one the financial gain was silly, silly change. Then there was nothing going my way. I would have been going to his back yard again, where I didn’t get fairly treated the first time.

“The thing is with the super middleweights is that everyone is willing to fight everyone. There is nobody sitting back hanging out for the last pound and that is what I like about it.

“I’ve been at the top of the middleweights and the stars at the top want all of the pie and everything their own way.”

Saunders doesn’t make it necessarily seem like he’s completely finished at middleweight, but seems to believe he’ll have an easier time securing the fights desires at super middleweight. He says that he’s not a large 168-pounder, but that he’s never had a bruising style and that everyone will come to find out he’s big enough.

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