Billy Joe Saunders' world title defence against Artur Akavov in Cardiff postponed

PUBLISHED: 14:19 23 November 2016 | UPDATED: 14:19 23 November 2016

WBO world boxing champion Billy Joe Saunders

WBO world boxing champion Billy Joe Saunders

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Hatfield boxer Billy Joe Saunders' first WBO world middleweight title defence, planned for this Saturday in Cardiff, has been postponed.

A medical delay over Russian challenger Artur Akavov has resulted in the clash being put back seven days to December 3 and will now take place in Scotland.

The pair were due to meet at the Motorpoint Arena in Wales this weekend, but problems with the translation of paperwork supplied by the Russian’s team have forced an unavoidable delay.

“It’s extremely frustrating for all parties and especially Billy who has been itching to get back into the ring following a frustrating 2016,” said Saunders’ promoter Frank Warren.

“The medicals were sent late and mostly in Russian and once translated it then became apparent they were not complete.

“Ultimately, it would be too late to find a suitable replacement so postponing it was our only option.

“I feel for Billy Joe as he was ready to make the first defence of his world title and for all of the fans who wanted to watch him.”

Alex Vaysfeld, from Akavov’s team, who recently came to the UK with Andrey Klimov, said: “This is no more than a translation problem and will be easily rectified upon Akavov’s arrival in the UK and I’m glad Frank was able to postpone for just a week.”

A frustrated Saunders added: “I was ready to put on a big performance and defend my title in style in Cardiff but unfortunately this latest issue was totally out of our control.

“The fight is still on, that’s the main thing and I’ll be fully prepared to defend my title in Scotland next week before moving on to a blockbuster fight in 2017.”

The clash will now take place on Saturday, December 3 at Paisley Lagoon Centre.

The show will be broadcast live and exclusive on BoxNation.

It will now be topped by Saunders’ world title defence against Akavov with rising Chorley star Jack Catterall defending his WBO inter-continental super-lightweight title and former IBF world bantamweight champion Paul Butler also back in action.

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