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Billy Joe Saunders injured, Martin Murray bout and Flanagan-Hooker postponed

Billy Joe Saunders. Photo courtesy of Vincent Ethier/EOTTM
20
Mar

Unbeaten WBO middleweight titleholder Billy Joe Saunders has suffered an injury to his hand which has led to the postponement of his April 14 domestic clash with countryman Martin Murray.

Saunders, who is rated No. 3 by THE RING at 160 pounds, was looking to build on his emphatic unanimous decision win over former world titleholder David Lemieux in December. The slick lefty will now headline against Murray on June 23 at the original venue, the O2 Arena in London.

“I’m gutted for Martin and I’m gutted for the fans,” said Saunders (26-0, 12 knockouts). “I felt my hand go during a session this week and sought medical advice immediately. Unfortunately, I’ve been told that I can’t punch anything for four weeks so we’ve been left with no choice but to withdraw from the date.

“I’d like to thank my promoter Frank Warren for quickly sorting a new date for the fight. My trainer, Dominic Ingle, will make sure that I’m fit and prepared to put on a show on June 23. It is vital that I’m firing on all cylinders heading into this fight but, for now, it’s all about recovering properly.”

“It is extremely frustrating as tickets were going very well and we were all geared up for a fantastic evening of boxing,” said promoter Frank Warren. “I apologize to all of the fans that have bought tickets for the April 14 date, but all original tickets will be valid for June 23.”

A second world title fight on the same card between former WBO lightweight titleholder Terry Flanagan and Maurice Hooker will also be rescheduled. The unbeaten Flanagan was to have made his 140-pound debut against the American with the WBO junior welterweight title at stake.

“We are working on a new date,” confirmed Warren. “I am speaking with Hooker’s representative, Dino Duva, and we will be making an announcement this week on where and when this fight takes place.

“It is not straightforward as this is an ordered fight for a vacant title, but we are working hard to get everything sorted and our priority is to secure Terry his chance to become a two-weight world champion”.

All original tickets will be valid for June 23. If you are unable to make the new date, fans can contact their point of purchase within the next 14 days should they require a refund.

Information courtesy of a press release issued by Frank Warren PR.

 

Tom Gray is Associate Editor for THE RING. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

 

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