By Terence Dooley
Manchester’s David Barnes and Craig Watson will have to wait a little longer to settle their local rivalry. A shoulder injury forced Watson to withdraw from next Saturday's British welterweight title eliminator at the city’s Bowlers Exhibition Centre.
Watson, 22-5 (9), had hoped to launch himself back into title contention by beating Barnes, 26-2-2 (11), but will now have to wait until a rearranged date can be put into place.
Dave Coldwell of Coldwell Boxing confirmed the news earlier today, the show's promoter, is seeking a replacement opponent for the 32-year-old Barnes. Coldwell has put together a strong bill, one that can cope with the withdrawal of Watson, but he will no doubt hope to pair the two up again as the proposed bout drew plenty of attention, especially after Watson called Barnes a "shitbag" during a recent interview with John Evans of BoxingScene.
"I think this fight was going to really take off," said Bob Shannon, the trainer of Barnes, when BoxingScene contacted him about the news. "David's been firing in the gym, so he is disappointed with this news, but if Craig's injured then what can we do. We just have to face whoever they put in front of us and make sure Dave gets a win.
“Craig's had a lot to say, it is a shame we won't get to see him try to back his words up next week. I can only send him my best wishes for a speedy recovery. Dave was disappointed by Craig’s comments recently — he hoped to settle things between them the right way and do his talking in the ring. I hope this gets made again soon as it is a natural fight for both lads.”
Visit http://coldwellboxing.com/events/bring-the-noise/ for ticket information and details of upcoming shows.