By Keith Idec
Promoter Frank Warren confirmed through his Twitter account Sunday that the Billy Joe Saunders-Martin Murray fight has been postponed again.
England’s Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) was supposed to defend his WBO middleweight title against Murray (36-4-1, 17 KOs) on June 23 at O2 Arena in London, but according to Warren, the champion has suffered another injury. They were initially scheduled to fight April 14 at O2 Arena, but it was postponed March 20 until June 23 due to Saunders’ hand injury.
“Due to an injury suffered by Billy Joe Saunders,” Warren stated in a Tweet, “unfortunately, he has had to withdraw from his June 23rd fight with Martin Murray at O2 Arena. A full statement on the show will be made tomorrow [Monday]. We apologise for any inconvenience.”
Murray initially revealed the news through his Instagram account Sunday. The British contender also made it clear that he doesn’t believe the 28-year-old Saunders is injured.
The 35-year-old Murray claims this postponement just buys Warren and Saunders the time they need to learn whether Saunders has a shot to secure a more profitable fight against Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez. Negotiations for a lucrative middleweight championship rematch between Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) and Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) stalled recently.
Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez’s promoter, has said Alvarez is “moving on” to another opponent for his scheduled September 15 return. De La Hoya also has mentioned Saunders as a possible replacement.
“Good morning,” Murray said in a video posted to his Instagram account. “I just think it’s better you heard it from me, rather than you heard another bullsh*t story. But the fight’s off with Billy Joe Saunders. He sh*t out again. First it was his hand. Now it’s his hamstring. We know that he’s just trying to make a big-money fight with Golovkin or Canelo and I’m too risky to fight. He just don’t wanna fight me. But there’s nothing I can do. You know, it’s the second time I’ve took meself away from me family, got me body in this condition, ready to fight, and get to the last minute and it’s canceled. So obviously gutted, but nothing I can do.
“I just want to apologize to everybody who’s bought tickets, booked hotels, booked train fares. I just say thank you to everybody for the continued support and believing in me. Me management team’s working on an alternative, so hopefully I’ll have a new date in the next couple of weeks. But, like I said, thanks to everyone for their continued support.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.