Billy-Joe Saunders vs Shefat Isufi predictions and betting tips as they meet for the WBO World Super Middleweight Title at The Lamex Stadium in Stevenage and live on BT Sports. Will the undefeated former Middleweight king prove he has was it takes to win a world championship at a second weight division.
It is fair to say that Billy-Joe Saunders (27-0) is one of the most talented boxers in the country but outside of the ring, he has drawn plenty of criticism. The 29-years-old is making his second appearance in the ring after his proposed clash with Demetrius Andrade was called off following the news that Saunders had failed a drugs test.
Although the controversies do not end there, it is worth noting that Saunders was a superb amateur and when he turned over to the paid ranks, most people expected him to go on and claim world honours. However, although Billy-Joe went on to win Middleweight gold and make several defences of his crown, he has drawn criticism in the level of opposition he has fought, his record notably missing the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs.
Despite this, at 29-years-old he still has plenty of time left in his career and following a decision to change trainer to Ben Davison, the man who helped Tyson Fury shed the pounds for his return to the ring ahead of a clash with Deontray Wilder, Saunders looks like he has found the discipline required in training camp to get back to the sort of fighter who schooled David Lemieux a few years ago.
The man hoping to spoil the party and claim his own world is Munich-based Serbian Isufi Shefat Isufi (27-3-). The 29-years-old is currently on a 10 fight win streak which has culminated in being given this opportunity, however, he has not mixed in particularly impressive company and looks to be rather fortunate to be in the mix for a world title.
He earned a number 1 ranking with the WBO after he defeated David Zegarra an 11th round stoppage in July 2017 for the vacant WBO Intercontinental title in July 2017 and he has made two defences of the belt. He has previously fought for and won the IBF European title at light heavyweight, as well as the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council cruiserweight title. Isufi is undefeated as a super middleweight.
Brad Foster vs Ashley Lane Predictions and Betting Tips
Brad Foster vs Ashley Lane predictions and betting tips as they meet for the British and Commonwealth Super Bantamweight title on the undercard of Billy-Joe Saunders vs Shefat Isufi at The Lamex Stadium in Stevenage and live on BT Sports. Will the young and upcoming British champion be able to continue his rise up the rankings and add some more titles to his trophy cabinet?
Brad Foster (10-0-1) signed a promotional agreement with Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions a few weeks ago and he has gone straight into a major show to defend his title against Commonwealth champion Ashley Lane.
The Lichfield-based Foster won his British title via a convincing points victory over the experienced Josh Wale on away territory in Barnsley back in March. In his previous fight the 21-year-old won the vacant Midlands Area super bantamweight belt following the retirement of the then unbeaten Leon Gower in round eight.
Bristol-based Ashley Lane (13-8-2) is on a six-fight winning streak and comes into this contest knowing that a win on a major televised card such as this one will mean that an otherwise ordinary career receives a massive shot in the arm.
Despite managing to win just two of his first since contests, the 28-years-old’s recent run has featured his Commonwealth title success against Michael Ramabeletsa in September 2017, who he defeated on points and reversed a previous career loss.
Joe Joyce vs Alexander Ustinov Predictions and Betting Tips
Joe Joyce vs Alexander Ustinov predictions and betting tips as they meet on the undercard of Billy-Joe Saunders vs Shefat Isufi at The Lamex Stadium in Stevenage and live on BT Sports. Will the former Olympian continue his perfect introduction to the paid ranks in his latest clash against tough opposition.
Commonwealth heavyweight champion Joe Joyce (8-0) is another fighter who signed with Frank Warren recently and was added to this card pretty hastily. The Olympic silver medalist won the WBA Gold title in his last fight against former world champion Bermane Stiverne in February and he is in a rush to make his way to the top.
The 33-years-old spent a long time in the unpaid ranks before earning the opportunity to represent his country at the Olympic Games, but he knows that he has a lot of ground to cover and not an awful lot of time to do it if he is to go on and accomplish a world title before hanging up the gloves.
Speaking of fighters who are running out of time, at 42-years-old Alexander Ustinov (34-3) will realise that the curtain is coming down on his long and distinguished career. The Russian turned professional way back in 2005 and despite never being able to accomplish a world title, he was always a fighter who was on the cusp of clinching that sought after honour.
The opportunity to be a world champion is an honour which only a select few fighters get to posses, but the chances of Billy-Joe Saunders becoming a two-weight world champion would allowed him entry to a pretty exclusive club. And yet, this is far from a fight which has captured the public’s imagination.
Saunders has had large periods of inactivity, is only recently returned from a drugs ban and has not exactly been polished with his activites away from boxing. All of these factors have combined to ensure the 29-years-old is not the media darling his talent perhaps deserves, but his skills in the ring are hard to question.
The skilled Brit is yet to taste defeat and although he is far from a concussive puncher, when he is on his game he has the capabilities to mix it with anyone in and around his weight.
The opponent may not be of a particularly high calibre, but the goal of becoming a two weight world champion should be enough to ensure we see the best of Saunders, and with new trainer Ben Davison in his corner it should ensure he is in the best shape of his career to date.
We think that Saunders should simply outclass his opponent and a stoppage seems likely. Isufi may be undefeated as a Super-Middleweight, but he has been defeated three times by fighters not in the same league as the Brit and he should simply find Saunders to be operating at a much higher level.
Brad Foster vs Ashley Lane may not be a fight that has people with a pretty casual relationship with the sport particularly excited, nor is it one which will have a lot of the hardcore fans rushing home to watch, but it is an interesting trade fight which pits a young and up coming prospect against an experienced pro who has turned a difficult start to his career around.
Given that he has just signed a promotional deal with Frank Warren, the pressure will be on Foster to come through this contest and go on to achieve bigger and better things in the future.
However, Lane is a man in form and after avenging a loss to claim the Commonwealth crown, he is in no mood to be a walkover for any opponent he comes up against.
This fight takes place in the lower weight classes and knockouts are not typically on the cards for the watching public. Given that Foster has only stopped 3 of his 11 opponents to date and Lane has only managed to force one stoppage, backing this fight to go the distance seems like the most likely conclusion.
Joe Joyce turned over as a professional back in 2017 and he proved he was not messing around immediately as his first contest was a 12 round bout with seasoned professional Ian Lewison.
The 33-years-old went on to claim the Commonwealth title in only his fourth fight, which ensured he claimed the record of winning the title in the lowest amount of professional fights ever, a considerable achievement when you consider the names who have held the title previous to him.
Although he is building an impressive number of names on his record, this fight represents a fight against another fading heavyweight from the past. Joyce previously defeated former WBC champion Bermane Stiverne by a sixth round knockout, although he had to walk through some heavy shots to force a stoppage.
After that fight, Joyce admitted that he needed to start moving his head more and after swapping out trainer Abel Sanchez in favor of Adam Booth, he is hoping he can improve his game enough for him to take his career to the next level.
Ustinov has lost his previous two contests and, should he fail to win on Saturday evening, it will most likely spell the end of his career at this level. Unfortunately, we cannot see a scenario where there is one last hurrah for the Russian.