PROMOTER Frank Warren today held the final press conference ahead of Saturday’s vacant WBO world super-middleweight title clash between Billy Joe Saunders and Shefat Isufi at The Lamex Stadium, home of Stevenage FC.

Saunders, who comes from nearby Hatfield will be bidding to become a two-weight world champion having previously held the WBO middleweight crown.

Also on the bill is fast emerging London heavyweight star and Olympic silver medalist Joe Joyce who faces giant Russian former world title challenger Alexander Ustinov.

Here are a selection of quotes from the presser.


Bill should be in a position to have big fights and he will get them. It is a shame that fighters avoid him. We twice signed to fight Golovkin and I know Canelo’s connections don’t want to know. I had a chat with Joe Gallagher a couple weeks ago about Callum Smith and he said ‘in a couple of fights time’, but Callum will be light-heavyweight by then. Chris Eubank Jr has shown no interest in avenging his loss to Bill.

Ustinov is a big, big man and I know him very well. This is a tough fight for Joe and a step up for him. Joe doesn’t want marking time fights and this is no gimme. Joe is out to make a statement and cannot afford to slip up.


This has been a long time coming. I had a terrible 2018 and feel my title was robbed from me. I jumped at this fight when it was offered and I will become a two-weight world champion.

I’m not looking past Isufi, but I am looking for the big names. I am 29, I know I have got it inside me and nobody has seen my best.

READ Saunders vs Isufi: Home Sweet Home For Billy Joe
With the backing of BT Sport we can make the big fights. It is all fine saying I look good hitting the pads, but I have to be on my A game and send a message to the other super-middleweights.

If I do bring it, I should box his head off. Whatever he brings I will fetch ten-fold more.

I have been training with Ben and it has been good, enjoyable and great bouncing around with Tyson Fury. Everything has gone well and I’m enjoying boxing again.


I am doing this for me, but to become Albania’s first world boxing champion is big for them and also Germany as I box under their flag.

Billy Joe will be trying everything to win and so will I.

If Billy Joe did win I will congratulate him, but it will be the other way around.

Billy Joe is quick, fast and a hard puncher. I can also punch and one punch could make the difference.

My father died when I was young and he is always in my mind. When I win I will go to his grave and thank him.

Photo by Reuters/Andrew Couldridge