Billy Joe Saunders withdraws from first WBO World Middleweight title defence

PUBLISHED: 13:27 13 April 2016 | UPDATED: 13:27 13 April 2016

WBO world middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders from Hatfield. Picture courtesy of Frank Warren

WBO world middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders from Hatfield. Picture courtesy of Frank Warren

Archant

Billy Joe Saunders’ first WBO World Middleweight title defence has been shelved after the Hatfield fighter suffered a hand injury in training.

The 26-year-old, linked with a mega summer showdown with unified WBA, IBF, IBO, and WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, was due to take on Max Bursak at London’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday, April 30.

Saunders, who injured his left hand during a training session, is devastated that he can’t make the the first defence of the title he won with a blistering display against Irishman Andy Lee in December.

He said: “I’m bitterly disappointed. I was really looking forward to making the first defence of my world title against Max Bursak but this is boxing and these things happen. Now it’s all about recovering properly and looking forward to a big 2016.”

Undefeated fighter Hughie Fury, cousin of WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury, will now headline the bill alongside Liam Walsh.

Fury is scheduled to face Fred Kassi while Walsh takes on Troy James.


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