Frank Warren hits back at social media rumours following new injury to Billy Joe Saunders

PUBLISHED: 13:42 04 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:44 04 June 2018

Billy Joe Saunders during a press conference at the BT Tower, London. Picture: STEVEN PASTON/PA

Billy Joe Saunders during a press conference at the BT Tower, London. Picture: STEVEN PASTON/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Frank Warren has blasted rumours that Billy Joe Saunders isn’t injured after the world WBO middleweight was forced to withdraw from his defence against Martin Murray for a second time.

The Hatfield champion had already been forced to postpone a clash with Murray in April because of a hand injury and now a hamstring issue means they won’t feature on the June 23 bill at the O2.

But Warren has said rumours on social media about Saunders’ health were wide of the mark.

He said: “I’ve seen rumours that Billy isn’t injured but he is a fighting man and there’s no way he would pull out unless he had to.

“It’s a shame after the devastating performance against Lemieux last Christmas as this was a chance for Billy to keep momentum as we continue to chase big fights for him.

“Martin may still feature on the card and we are working day and night trying to put something together and we will let the fans know news on this when we’ve had a chance to look at all options.”

Saunders himself was bitterly disappointed at the cancellation.

He said: “I am sorry to Martin and the fans for the inconvenience this has caused them. I know Martin has put himself through two hard camps now and I am hugely sorry that I’ve let both him and the fans down and prevented a great fight from happening.

“It has been a tough time with injuries through the past few months but at this level against a top operator like Martin Murray you cannot risk going into a fight less than 100 per cent.

“But I do appreciate the fans support and I know Frank will be looking to get me back in the ring as soon as possible when I’m fit to fight.”

The card at the O2 will still take place as planned, however, and will still be televised live on BT Sport and BoxNation, with London favourites Anthony Yarde, Daniel Dubois and Ohara Davies all in action.

Warren also said that further updates will follow this week.

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