Billy Joe Saunders vs Shefat Isufi Preview May 18th
Unbeaten former WBO Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders of Hatfield England will be going for the vacant WBO Super Middleweight Crown this Saturday, May 18th when he takes on Shefat Isufi of Serbia in Stevenage, England. Saunders last fought in December when he stopped Charles Adamu after four rounds while Isufi last fought in July when he beat Mohamed El Achi by a 12-round unanimous decision. The fight can be seen live in the USA on ESPN+ and fans in the UK can catch it on BT Sport.
Saunders vs Isufi Betting Odds
Here are the betting odds from online sportsbook BetOnline.ag (full review here).
- Shefat Isufi +1375
- Billy Joe Saunders -10000
The 29-year-old Saunders, a southpaw, enters the bout with a perfect record of 27-0 along with 13 Kos. He’s hoping to earn possible big-money fights down the road with the likes of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and/or Gennady Golovkin. This is his second fight as a super middleweight but he’s expected to go back to middleweight if he can land a top-name opponent. Saunders is also a former Commonwealth Middleweight Champion with his biggest wins being against David Lemieux, Andy Lee, Willie Monroe Jr and a 12-round split decision victory over fellow Englishman Chris Eubank Jr in 2014.
Saunders competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China and has fought 179 rounds since turning pro the same year. Other notable opponents include Gary O’Sullivan, Artur Akavov and Jarrod Fletcher. The ex-champion stands 5-feet-11-inches tall and has a 71-inch reach. He’s not known as a KO artist by any stretch of the imagination with his knockout ratio currently standing at 48 per cent. He does have decent power though and Isufi can’t afford to underrate it or his boxing ability. Other than the win over Lemieux, Saunders’ biggest problem is that he usually fights to the level of his opposition and does just enough to win.
Isufi is a 29-year-old journeyman who fights out of Germany and enters the contest with a mark of 27-3-2 with 20 Kos. He’s fought 152 rounds since turning pro in 2010 and stands 5-feet-11-inches tall with an unlisted reach which means he’s the same height as Saunders. Isufi’s three career losses have come at the hands of Dariusz Sek by stoppage after eight rounds in 2015 and by unanimous decisions to Dennis Ronert and Tasos Berdesis in 2014. His draws have been against Tani Dima and Ali Chakiev in his pro debut in 2010.
All of Isufi’s fights have taken place in Europe and it’s almost impossible to recognize any of his previous opponents. However, he has captured the vacant WBC Eurasia Pacific Council Cruiserweight Title and the vacant IBF East/West Europe Light Heavyweight Belt and the PABA Light Heavyweight Belt since turning pro along with the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Super Middleweight Crown. Just 15 of his 32 opponents have had winning records while another nine of them were making their pro debuts. Isufi appears to have decent power with a current knockout ratio of 63 per cent.
Many fans believe Saunders is a despicable person outside of the ring but if he does have anything going for him in his life it’s his boxing skill inside the squared circle. The only way Isufi wins this fight is by knockout and since he’s used to competing at a higher weight he may have some power on his punches. However, it’s not likely. Saunders has plenty of boxing skills but the former drug cheat is basically being handed the Super Middleweight Title by the WBO by meeting somebody who really has no right fighting for a world title.
Basically a mismatch in favour of Saunders.
Play: Saunders -10000 @ BetOnline.ag
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Billy Joe Saunders betting • Shefat Isufi betting