Champion Lee and Saunders were due to meet, in an already delayed clash, for the WBO middleweight belt until the challenger suffered a cut in training that has put the brakes on the fight for at least six weeks.
Frank Warren is awaiting a report on the injury to fully calculate potential dates for the rescheduling of the high-profile Ireland v England encounter, but believes the Manchester Arena bill can stand alone without Lee v Saunders as the headliner.
“It’s a disappointment, but I’m very optimistic that the show is still one of the best of the year, if not the best, with a top class line up,” said Warren, who is hopeful the clash can be rearranged by the end of this year,” said Warren.
Terry Flanagan now takes centre stage in the first defence of his WBO lightweight title against dangerous Top Rank fighter Diego Magdaleno, whilst compatriot Liam Smith fights for his first world title against American replacement John Thompson.
Smith was due to fight Michel Soro until negotiations with the Frenchman fell through and Thompson steps in fresh from an impressive victory in the four-man Boxcino tournament stateside.
World title prospect Liam Walsh, super lightweight Jack Catterall and a battle featuring Tom Stalker and Craig Evans top the remainder of the bill.
Flanagan v Magdaleno and Smith v Thompson will be shown live on BoxNation on October 10.
Tickets for the eye-catching event remain on sale via Eventim and start from £46.30. Click here for details