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Billy Joe Saunders splits with Frank Warren, could sign with Matchroom

Saunders had been with Warren for over a decade

Boxing at The Lamex Stadium Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images

WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has undergone an “amicable parting” with promoter Frank Warren, citing an inability to “regain...momentum” and “certain fights [being] not immediately available.” According to The Athletic, Saunders is now “finalizing a multi-fight deal” with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing “that could be announced next week.”

Warren and Saunders (28-0, 13 KO) aren’t wrong about the momentum thing; despite winning Gilberto Ramirez’s former title with a decision over Shefat Isufi this past May, the 29-year-old has essentially vanished from the conversation since his clowning of David Lemieux in 2017. A failed drug test resulted in him vacating the WBO middleweight belt last year, since which he’s beaten Ghanaian journeyman Charles Adamu and the aforementioned Isufi.

Signing with Matchroom would give him access to the sizable DAZN roster, but more importantly, it clears the way for a unification fight with Callum Smith, to whom Saunders sent a unification offer in July. Should he decide to return to 160 pounds, Saunders could also get another opportunity to fight Demetrius Andrade, whom he was booked against when the failed test occurred.

In short: this is a good move on his part.