By Terence Dooley
George Warren has outlined the reason why a rematch between Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Junior isn’t possible at this point in time. Negotiations were ongoing until Team Saunders were informed that a fight involving Eubank’s WBA interim belt could impact on his mandatory status with the WBO.
“They’re not fighting because we couldn’t reach agreement with Chris Eubank Promotions,” said Warren when speaking to BoxNation’s Steve Bunce. “We had a timescale to the deal done in and had a complication that came late on in the negotiations over Chris Eubank Junior’s WBA interim world title.”
Eubank, 19-1 (14), picked up the interim belt after scoring a 12th-round stoppage over Dmitry Chudinov in February—his first fight since dropping a decision to Saunders in November. There were rumours of a Saunders rematch earlier this month, but it was nixed once it became clear that the WBO could strip Saunders of his mandatory status if he fought for Eubank’s interim title.
“Unfortunately, we don’t make the rules, but the WBO said that as he’s the champion of another orginsation they can’t rank him and if Billy Joe was to fight him he would be in jeopardy of losing his mandatory position, win, lose or draw,” explained Warren.
“Billy is aware of this, my dad [Frank Warren] is his manager and promoter, and everyone’s got to remember he won the first fight. He (Eubank) called for the fight, it was there to be made, but we don’t make the rules.”
Saunders will have a run out at Manchester's Velodrome venue on July11, his following fight will be against Andy Lee for the WBO belt, according to Warren.
“The last I’ve been informed is that Andy is out until the autumn so Billy will have a warm-up fight to keep him busy,” he said. “After that, we’ll get the fight on. It’s quite simple, Billy is fighting for the middleweight title in the autumn.”
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