Saunders to defend title against Bursak

Billy Joe Saunders will make the first defence of his WBO world middleweight title against Max Bursak at the Copper Box Arena on April 30.

The Hatfield fighter (23-0-KO12) won the crown by outpointing Ireland’s Andy Lee at the Manchester Arena on December 19, 2015 and now takes on Ukraine’s Bursak (32-4-1-KO15).

Saunders said: “Nothing comes easy in boxing and I’m definitely not taking Bursak for granted. He’s a good, good, fighter and very dangerous and if I don’t come in 100 percent then he could cause an upset in my first title defence.

“I’ve worked long and hard to get where I am and look at the massive fights ahead of me against the likes of Golovkin. So no, I’m going to make sure I’m in perfect shape and give Bursak the toughest night he’s ever had, he’s never been stopped before so that’s something I’m looking at doing.”

Bursak said: “Thank you to Billy Joe Saunders for giving me a shot at the world title. Unfortunately for Saunders, this is going to be his first and last defence of the title because I will be taking the title off him when I face him on Saturday 30th April at the Copper Box Arena.

“I am telling Saunders to be prepared and train hard because he will be in for the fight of his life and I will be looking for the knockout.”

Bursak has never been stopped in his professional career but has lost decisions to Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Jarrod Fletcher, Martin Murray and Zac Dunn.