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Billy Joe Saunders injured and first title defense postponed again

(AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)

WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has not defended his title since winning it in December 2015, and now more time is going to be required before that first title defense can take place.

Saunders reportedly suffered another hand injury in training camp getting ready for what was supposed to be his upcoming bout, according to ESPN.

Oct. 22 was supposed to host Saunders defending the title against Artur Akavov, but no longer.

It appears the fight is not cancelled altogether, but simply being postponed a month — now set to take place Nov. 26.

“We have obviously not had a lot of luck with this event, first of all being let down by Chris Eubank Jr. and now the two main fights on a card falling out on the same day,” promoter Frank Warren said. “We have no choice but to postpone the card to a month later so everyone is given time to recover.

“I apologize to the fans for any inconvenience this may cause. It is extremely frustrating as the event is already essentially sold out and we were all geared up for a cracking night of boxing on Oct. 22 in Cardiff. I am particularly gutted for Tommy Langford, who has sold around 2,000 tickets for his British middleweight title challenge against Sam Sheedy, but I’m sure his support will no doubt still be out in force on Nov. 26.”

It is the second time this year which Saunders has pulled out of a planned title bout due to a hand injury.

Saunders had originally been set to make his first title defense against Max Bursak on April 30, but a left-hand injury forced that bout to be scrapped altogether.

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