Saunders explains hand injury, feels ‘gutted’ for Murray over delay
Billy Joe Saunders has postponed his world title defence against Martin Murray until June 23 after suffering a hand injury in training.
The WBO world middleweight champion (26-0-KO12) had been due to make the fourth defence of his title against Murray (36-4-1-KO17) on April 14 at The O2 but the bout will now take place 10 weeks later at the same venue.
Saunders said: “I’m gutted for Martin and I’m gutted for the fans. 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 another show on June 23.
“This is an extremely tough sport and these things can happen. It is vital that I’m firing on all cylinders heading into this fight but for now it’s all about recovering properly and focusing on the new June 23 date.”
Murray added: “I’m absolutely gutted that the fight has been postponed but it is what it is. I’m just happy a new date’s been set so I’ve got to look forward to that now.”
Promoter Frank Warren said: “It is extremely frustrating as tickets were going very well and we were all geared up for a fantastic evening of boxing on April 14.”
“I apologise to all of the fans that have bought tickets for the April 14 date but all original tickets will be valid for the new June 23 date.
“We are also working on a new date for the WBO super-lightweight world title fight between Terry Flanagan and Maurice Hooker. 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.”