On February 18th it was announced by promoter Frank Warren that Billy Joe Saunders would be stepping up to super middleweight to challenge WBO number 1 ranked Shefat Isufi for the vacant WBO world super middleweight title on April 13 at the SSE Arena, Wembley, London.
🚨 SAUNDERS SET FOR SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD TITLE SHOT🚨 @bjsaunders_ will step up to 168lbs and take on #1 ranked challenger Shefat Isufi for the vacant WBO World Super Middleweight Title on April 13th at the @ssearena, Wembley live on @btsport 👑 📺 #Redemption pic.twitter.com/eaAffQf40j
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) February 18, 2019
Invitation for both Saunders and Isufi to begin negotiations to fight for the vacant title had previously been invited by the WBO.
— WBO (@WorldBoxingOrg) February 18, 2019
However since that announcement Gilberto Ramirez who had previously held the title and had been thought to have vacated the belt, came out to state that he was not vacating the title, this then led to the WBO editing their rankings to reinstall Ramirez as the champion, meaning there was no longer a vacated world title to fight for.
It is now likely that Saunders v Isufi will be a title eliminator, assuming it still goes ahead, with the winner getting a shot at the title holder Ramirez. Unless there is another twist and Ramirez does decide to vacate it looks like Saunders will have to wait a little while longer to get a world title shot.