Former middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders takes on Shefat Isufi for the vacant WBO super middleweight world title at The Lamex Stadium in the United Kingdom on May 18. Also on the broadcast is a heavyweight showdown between undefeated 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joe Joyce and veteran Alexander Ustinov will be live streamed online through ESPN+ and shown in the UK on BT Sport.
Billy Joe Saunders (27-0, 13 KOs) won the WBO middleweight title against Andy Lee in 2015 and went onto defend the title three times before vacating the belt before his title defense against undefeated American Demetrius Andrade because he failed a drug test.
Saunders proclaims his innocence and said the failed test was due to a nasal spray he was using. He was able to continue boxing but was out of shape and ballooned in weight, so he fought in the light heavyweight (175lbs) division before dropping down to super middleweight (168lbs) for tonight’s bout against Shefat Isufi (27-3-2, 20 KOs) of Germany.
This will be Saunders opportunity to become a champion in two weight divisions and another shot to hold the WBO belt title. The opportunity arose when the former WBO belt holder Gilberto Ramirez vacated his title to move up to light heavyweight.
Joe “Juggernaut” Joyce (8-0, 8 KOs) will have his hands full when he steps up against a very experienced former title challenger Alexander Ustinov (34-3, 25 KOs).
Joyce who at 33, is still considered a prospect knows time isn’t on his side and he is trying to climb his way to a world title shot as soon as possible. His opponent is a strong 42-year-old Russian boxer who has more pro experience and will likely use his veteran skills to try to outsmart the Brit.
Super Middleweight Championship – Billy Joe Saunders vs. Shefat Isufi (vacant WBO World Super Middleweight Title)
Super Bantamweight – Brad Foster vs. Ashley Lane (BBBofC British and Commonwealth (British Empire) Super Bantamweight Titles)
Heavyweight – Joe Joyce vs. Alexander Ustinov
Lightweight – Boy Jones vs. Shaun Cooper
The Saunders vs. Isufi live stream begins at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT on ESPN+ and in the UK on BT Sport on Saturday, May 18, 2019.