Billy Joe Saunders back as long-awaited fight with Martin Murray finally gets go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 11:43 24 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:43 24 October 2020

Billy Joe Saunders last fight was in November against Marcelo Coceres in Los Angeles. Picture: ED MULHOLLAND/MATCHROOM BOXING USA

Billy Joe Saunders last fight was in November against Marcelo Coceres in Los Angeles. Picture: ED MULHOLLAND/MATCHROOM BOXING USA

Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Billy Joe Saunders and Martin Murray will finally lock horns two years later than planned after the Hatfield world champion’s next fight was announced.

The bout will take place on December 4 at Wembley Arena with the WBO super-middleweight title up for grabs

And it brings together the two British rivals who were scheduled to meet in 2018 but it twice fell through, both times due to injury to the 30-year-old Saunders.

The December date will also see the world champion climb back into the ring for the first time in a year, the pandemic robbing him of a potential May date with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

Saunders said: “I am very happy to be defending my WBO world title again. I haven’t boxed for a year and I really do miss being in the ring.

“The coronavirus pandemic has affected everybody in many ways and it has had a big impact on boxing. The Alvarez fight falling through was very frustrating for me but now the journey continues in December.

“Martin and I were supposed to fight twice before but it didn’t happen either time. He said some stuff and so did I, so let’s see who can back it up.

“I’m enjoying training with Mark Tibbs. He’s incredibly knowledgeable in the sport of boxing and we are working on new stuff that we will show on the night.”

Murray meanwhile stands in the way of unification fights for Saunders in 2021 and the St Helens man is more determined than ever to finally land a world crown at the fifth time of asking.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to getting back in there and fighting for another title. The big fights definitely bring out the best in me.

“This year has been a good year for me personally. It seemed like all the stresses of life were taken away so I really enjoyed being able to relax a bit more and spend even more time with my family.

“There was no bad blood, just a lot of frustration after he pulled out twice. That got left where it was, but we’ve definitely got some unfinished business.

“I’m expecting a hard fight and Billy Joe to be at his best so I’ll be ready.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “All-British world title fights are always special, especially in the super-middleweight division, and I’m really excited to see Billy back in the ring.”

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