HATFIELD boxer Billy Joe Saunders’ British title showdown against John Ryder has been put on the backburner after his next fight was announced today.

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On Saturday July 20, at Wembley Arena, Saunders will meet Irishman Gary O’Sullivan for the WBO International middleweight title.

Someone’s ‘0 will have to go’ aswell, as both boxers are undefeated on the professional circuit.

Derek Chisora’s bout against unbeaten American Malik Scott and Carl Frampton’s IBF Intercontinental title defence will also be on the bumper show, as well as hot prospect Paul Butler featuring in a WBO International Super-Flyweight title fight.

Today’s announcement caused a fair bit of confusion on social networking sites as well as boxing forums with Saunders v Ryder in a ‘Battle of Britain’ expected to be the next time both men would see action.

This prompted Queensberry Promotions, who won the purse for the Saunders v Ryder contest, to release the following statement:

“Andy Ayling, on behalf of Queensberry Promotions won the right to stage the British Middleweight Championship between Billy Joe Saunders and John Ryder, following a purse offer at the British Boxing Board of Control last Wednesday, May 22.

“The terms of this purse offer were easy to understand and very straightforward. The promoter must inform the BBBofC of a date and a venue for the contest to take place no later than 5pm on Wednesday, June 5. In turn, both boxers have 10 days in which to sign a simple and standard BBBofC contract and return it by June 1, 2013.

“The terms specifically state that the fight cannot happen within 21 days of the purse offer and further that neither boxer can take part in any contest within 28 days of the date submitted by the Promoter.

“Understanding these terms, Saunders’ manager, Frank Warren contacted Queensberry Promotions expressing a wish for Billy Joe Saunders to fight Gary O’Sullivan on July 20 for the WBO Intercontinental title.

“Due to this date not affecting the terms of the purse offer nor Mr Saunders obligations and as the British title is not at stake, then naturally no objection was raised.

“Therefore, for the avoidance of doubt both Andy Ayling on behalf of Queensberry Promotions, Mr Warren and Billy Joe Saunders, having already signed contracts, clearly have every intention in staging this contest as per the terms of the purse offer. Accordingly, once John Ryder’s signed contract is received, a date and venue will be announced for this exciting clash to take place.”

Both fighters go into the squared circle with unblemished records - Saunders has 17 wins, 10 by way of knockout (KO), with O’Sullivan 16 undefeated, 10 KOs.

Tickets for the Wembley Arena show, priced at £40, £50, £70, £100 and £150 are available now from Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or www.eventim.co.uk and Wembley Arena on 0844 815 0815 or www.wembleyarena.co.uk

The event will be shown on the Channel Of Champions BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).

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