Billy Joe Saunders postpones middleweight title defence against Martin Murray after suffering hand injury

The fight with compatriot Murray was scheduled for London's O2 Arena on April 14 but will now take place on June 23

Tuesday 20 March 2018 16:46
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Billy Joe Saunders has suffered a late injury
Billy Joe Saunders has suffered a late injury

Britain's WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has postponed his title defence against Martin Murray next month after suffering a hand injury in training.

The fight with compatriot Murray was scheduled for London's O2 Arena on April 14 but will now take place on June 23.

Saunders has defended his title three times, most recently against David Lemieux in Canada in December.

“I felt my hand go during a session this week and sought medical advice immediately,” he said.

“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. My trainer Dominic Ingle will make sure I'm fit and prepared to put on another show on June 23rd.”

The injury is especially disappointing for Saunders considering that lineal champion Gennady Golovkin had earlier lined him up as his next opponent – if his title unification rematch with Canelo Alvarez is called off.

Golovkin’s fight with Alvarez, scheduled for May 5 in Las Vegas, is now in doubt after the Mexican was revealed to have failed two drug tests.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission are currently investigating Alvarez after traces of the steroid clenbuterol were found in samples given by the boxer earlier this month.

“If that fight can’t happen the next step for me is Saunders, since it is my dream to get all the world championship belts,” Golovkin said.

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