The fight is part of a world title double header as Terry Flanagan steps up in weight to face Maurice Hooker for the WBO super lightweight championship.
Billy Joe Saunders will defend his WBO world middleweight title in a ‘Battle of Britain’ against Martin Murray on April 14, exclusively live on BT Sport.
The 28-year-old goes into the contest on the back of the biggest win of his career after he produced a masterclass in his one-sided victory over David Lemieux in Canada.
The 2008 Olympian will hope that another convincing win at the O2 Arena in London will set up a superfight against the winner of the Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez rematch this autumn.
For Murray, this contest almost certainly represents his last chance to win a world title. The 35-year-old has lost his three previous world title fights and knows he is unlikely to get another opportunity if he is beaten again this time around.
Saunders said: ‘ Martin Murray is a good fighter and I have got the greatest of respect for him. But he’s in the way of what I’m aiming for this year and that is to become Undisputed Middleweight World Champion. He’s coming try and win my world title and I’m sure it’s going to be a good fight!’
Murray who many felt did enough to become a Middleweight World Champion against both Sergio Martinez and Felix Sturm, only to be undone by the judges’ scorecards, is coming off a big win against Gabriel Rosado and will be out looking to scupper Saunders’ plans of facing Golovkin or Canelo and grab that blockbuster undisputed World title showdown for himself.
The St. Helen’s man said, ‘ I rate Billy Joe as a fighter, he’s one of slickest out there and he is coming off of a great win and will be very confident. But I’m very confident, this is my time to become World Champion, as it’s the only thing I have left to do.
I’ve fought everyone and in my opinion at Middleweight I have only one genuine loss which is against Gennady Golovkin who is the best out there.
I don’t count Martinez or Sturm as genuine losses because of the scorecards. But this time around, in my first World Title fight at home, as we are both British fighters fighting on home soil, I know the best man on the night will get the win and leave the arena as World Champion.’
The fight is part of a world title double header with Manchester’s Terry Flanagan stepping up in weight to face Maurice Hooker for the WBO super lightweight championship.
Flanagan, who boasts a perfect record of 33 wins from 33 fights, made five successful defences of his belt before giving up the lightweight crown after beating Petr Petrov last April.
The 28-year-old will be hoping to become a two weight world champion on the night but faces a tough challenge against the undefeated American Hooker.
Hooker, who fights out of Dallas, Texas, has drawn three of his 26 fights and beat Courtney Jackson for the NABO super lightweight title in his last outing.
Flanagan said: ‘Hooker is a very good unbeaten fighter, he fights on the back foot and looks to catch you from distance. However I’m very confident I’ll be able to deal with anything he throws at me to become a two-weight World Champion. Winning this fight will prove I’m a legitimate 140lb fighter I’ll be looking to unify the belts later in the year.’
Whilst undefeated American Maurice Hooker said: ‘I’m looking forward to coming to the UK to fight Flanagan and to become World Champion. We are both undefeated fighters and I’m sure it’s going to be a fantastic fight!’