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Billy Joe Saunders title defence announced

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Billy Joe Saunders will make his long-awaited US debut when he defends his WBO Super-Middleweight World title for the first time on the blockbuster KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 show at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday November 9, live on DAZN.

Saunders (28-0, 13 KOs) became a two-weight World Champion with a shutout points win over Shefast 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 on route to a majority decision to claim the WBO Middleweight crown.

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Saunders signed a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing in August and is out to impress on his big DAZN debut later this year as he aims to secure megafights with the likes of Callum Smith, Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.

“It feels like my professional debut all over again,” said Saunders. “I’m very excited to fight in front of the American fans for the first time in my professional career. The STAPLES Center is an unbelievable venue and I’m hearing that 20,000 people are expected to be packed in on the night.

“It’s a great chance to get some new fans onboard and a chance to capitalise on putting my name in the big lights in America. The KSI vs. Logan Paul rematch has really captured the imagination of the British and American public and it’s something that sells. Fair play to them both, it’s going to be a great show.

“People say, ‘oh you’re on the undercard’, but I feel like we’re all sharing the show, we’re all absorbing that energy off the fans. I’ve seen the numbers they attract, over six million people watched the press conference alone, and all eyes will be on us on November 9.

“I’m looking forward to making my debut with Matchroom Boxing live on DAZN. There’s been some brilliant names signed to DAZN recently and there’s some big names on the platform. It’s time to really put my impressing shoes on and put my name out there for those big fights to be made.”

“I’m really pleased for Billy that he will get to make his US debut on November 9 at the superb STAPLES Center,” said Eddie Hearn. “Everyone in the sport knows that he is one of the best out there at 160lbs and 168lbs and he wanted the opportunity to prove that he IS the best.

“This event will be huge with a chance for Billy to box in front of a massive global audience of boxing fans and a casual audience that we hope will fall in love with our sport. A strong performance in November can set up all the mega fights for him in 2020.”

Saunders’ opponent will be announced next week.

General sale tickets are available to purchase now via www.axs.com

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