Undefeated WBO super-midleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing and will target megafights with Saul Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin and Callum Smith. Saunders first fight under Hearn's Matchroom Boxing banner will be announced next week.
Saunders (28-0, 13 KOs) became a two-weight world champion with a shutout points win over Shefat Isufi in Stevenage earlier this year, outclassing his Serbian opponent over 12 rounds to land the WBO 168lbs title.
The Hatfield southpaw's first world title came against Irish fight legend Andy Lee at Manchester Arena in December 2015 when he floored the former champion twice in the third round en route to a majority decision to claim the WBO middleweight crown.
Successful defences followed against Artur Akavov, Willie Monroe Jr and, most notably, a career-best performance against David Lemieux on away soil in Canada where the 29-year-old star dismantled former IBF ruler Lemieux over 12 masterful rounds.
“This move is going to benefit me massively,” said Saunders. “Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing can put me right out on the branch for those big fights. I’m on Golovkin and Canelo’s turf. I’ve made this move to make them fights because I’m sick of hearing their bulls**t excuses. Those fights make financial sense and they make sense because we’re on the same network.
“I will go where the big fights are and I can fluctuate between Middle and Super-Middle. If the big fights are at Middleweight then I’ll have them at Middle. If they’re at Super-Middleweight then I’ll have them at Super. I’m a World Champion at Super-Middle so if anyone wants to come and try to win a belt then I’ve got one of the most recognised belts out there and I’m open to big offers.
“I’m going to bring a lot of excitement to Sky Sports and DAZN. I’m a good talker but I can also walk the walk. Matchroom are going to give me more publicity and more exposure for these big fights and that’s what I need. Once people see me and they see what I’m about they’ll want to see me in those big fights.
“I can’t wait to be involved in those big nights that I’ve seen Matchroom put on over the years. If that means fighting at 168lbs or 8lbs lighter then that’s no problem. I'm ready to go and I’m hoping to be out at the end of October or early November.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “Welcome to the big league Billy Joe! This is a huge signing for us and the perfect place for Billy to be. Everyone in boxing knows how good Billy is and now he is going to get the chance to prove it against the elite.
“He holds a world title at 168 but can also make 160 comfortably and when you look at the fighters we work with across our platforms, this was an obvious link up. Fighters need to be motivated with regular dates and solid deliverable plans - now Billy finally has that you will see him shine on both sides of the Atlantic."