A lucrative UK rematch between middleweights Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr moved a step closer today as Frank Warren announced that both fighters will not feature in separate bouts on May 9 as planned.
Saunders and Eubank were due to co-headline at the SSE Arena in Wembley next weekend, although are already locked in talks to face each other again on the back of their close fight last November. Saunders edged a split decision in an entertaining contest last time around, although since then Eubank has picked up the interim WBA title to edge above Saunders in the world rankings.
The Londoner, who is number one contender to Andy Lee’s middleweight title, had been hoping to face the Irishman for the full belt in the summer, although an injury to the champion has prevented this from happening. An interim championship return with Eubank is now in the works as Warren explained.
“WBO President Paco Valcarcel announced that due to injury Andy Lee will be unable to defend against number one challenger Billy Joe Saunders this summer,” said Warren. “Saunders is now set to fight for the WBO interim world middleweight title whilst he waits for Andy Lee to recover.
“Chris Eubank Jr has been publicly chasing a rematch with Saunders and negotiations have been ongoing for them to contest that interim belt. Therefore, Saunders and Eubank will not fight on the card at the SSE Arena on May 9th.
“The SSE Arena card will proceed on May 9th with the showdown between Frank Buglioni and Lee Markham headlining alongside Mitchell Smith and Bradley Skeete.
“Anyone looking for a refund for the event can contact their point of purchase to receive one.”