Saunders was offered the chance to??take on??Hassan N???Dam N???Jikam after the IBF stripped champion Jermain Taylor following his hospitalisation for a mental evaluation.
But fourth-ranked Saunders has followed Felix Sturm in rejecting the fight, and the Hatfield man will instead focus on taking on the winner of WBO champ Andy Lee’s April title defence against Peter Quillin.
Saunders said:??”I was honoured to be asked to fight for the IBF world title, which has been held by some of the greatest fighters in the sports history, and it was not an easy decision to make.
“But I have a signed a contract with the WBO to fight the winner of Lee and Quillin, and I want to go down that route.
“I’m in boxing to prove that I???m a great and to bring more world titles back to Britain, so I hope the IBF title is one that I can challenge for in the future in some big unification fights.”