By Jeff Aranow: Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) will be facing 41-year-old super middleweight journeyman Charles Adamu (32-13,25 KOs) in an 8 round scheduled fight this Saturday night on ESPN+ on the undercard of Josh Warrington vs. Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Saunders-Adamu isn’t supposed to be competitive.
Having Saunders on the Warrington-Frampton card might get some boxing fans to purchase the card just so they can see Billy Joe in action.
Saunders vs. Adamu is not expected to be a competitive fight unless Saunders is fat and out of shape. In that case, it might be an interesting affair. A weight drained Saunders barely beat Artur Akavov by a 12 round decision in December 2016 after having a poor camp. Akavov is a higher level fighter than Adamu, but it was still a shocker that Saunders had so many problems with the Russian fighter.
Former World Boxing Organization 160 pound champion Saunders was supposed to have been fighting journeyman Zoltan Sera (32-17-1, 22 KOs), but he pulled out of the card.
There’s virtually no difference between Adamu and Sera in the large scheme of things. This is a stay busy fight for the 29-year-old Saunders, who hasn’t fought 12 months since his 12 round unanimous decision victory over David Lemieux in December 2017.
Fighting at super middleweight will make it easier on Saunders to make weight for the fight, as he tends to have to work hard to get his weight down to 160 pounds for his fights at middleweight. Having the fight at 168 will make it easy on Saunders to make weight. It’s unknown how much weight Saunders will be losing to make the 168 lb limit. Saunders has blown up in weight in the past. Saunders weighed in at 173 pounds for his fight against Yoann Bloyer in July 2015.
Adamu comes from Ghana, and has previous losses to these well known fighters: Isaac Chilemba, George Groves, David Brophy, Patrick Nielsen, Rocky Fielding, Otis Grant, Vitaliy Tsypko, and Carl Froch. Adamu is not short on experience, but unfortunately he’s not done well when he’s stepped it up a class against better opposition. Adamu comes into Saturday’s fight with Saunders having lost his last three fights to David Brophy, Dan Azeez and Lawrence Osueke. Adamu used to be counted on to be able to beat the lower level fighters, but not anymore. He’s at the point in his career where he’ struggling against guys that he would have likely beaten years ago.
Saunders recently vacated his World Boxing Organization 160 lb title after testing positive for a banned substance, which prevented him from receiving his license to fight on October 20 by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission. Saunders had planned on defending his WBO belt against mandatory Demetrius Andrade. Saunders then vacated the WBO belt before the sanctioning body could strip him of his title. Andrade (26-0, 16 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the vacant WBO middleweight title on the October 20 card on DAZN from TD Garden in Boston, Mass. Andrade’s promoter Eddie Hearn looks forward to a fight between him and Saunders in 2019 possibly.
During his 3 years as the WBO middleweight champion, Saunders accomplished very little during that time. He talked constantly of wanting to fight Gennady Golovkin and Saul Canelo Alvarez, but he ended up facing Akavov, David Lemieux and Willie Monroe Jr. The general belief among the boxing public is Saunders milked his WBO title for three years without aiming to defend it against higher class opposition. Saunders had three title defenses fall apart against Martin Murray [twice], Max Bursak and Avtandil Khurtsidze. Saunders had a chance to fight on the undercard of Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith in September 2016, but he reportedly rejected the potential opponents. Gabriel Rosado, Curtis Stevens and Willie Monroe Jr. were the fighters that were offered for Saunders to defend against, according to Wikipedia. At the time, Saunders was being groomed for a fight against Canelo. Fighting Stevens, Monroe Jr. or Rosado on the Canelo-Smith undercard would have been a great way to setup a fight against Canelo in 2017.