23 October 2020

Billy Joe Saunders to defend WBO Super-Middleweight Title against fellow Brit Martin Murray in December

WBO Super-Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders will defend his title against fellow Brit Martin Murray at Wembley Arena on Friday, December 4.

Saunders, 31, was set to take on pound-for-pound star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Las Vegas back in May before the coronavirus pandemic saw that contest called off.

But now the undefeated fighter from Hertfordshire will finally make his return to the ring for the first time since November and will be looking to move to 30-0.

“I am very happy to be defending my WBO World Title again," Saunders told the Matchroom website. "I haven’t boxed for a year and I really do miss being in the ring. I can’t wait to have my 30th professional fight and finish the year with a bang before a big 2021.

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

Saunders and Murray were due to face off twice in 2018 but the fights were cancelled on both occasions due to injury.

Both men traded words after those bouts were called off, but now there appears to be a mutual respect ahead of their upcoming clash.

Murray has failed to win any of his four world title fights as a professional (PA)

"Martin and I were supposed to fight twice before but it didn’t happen either time," Saunders added.

"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.

"I’m really looking forward to getting back in there and fighting for another World Title," said Murray. 

"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 really between me and Billy to be honest, it was 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."

Murray, who has also not fought since November, will be fighting for a world title for the fifth time having previously drawn with Felix Sturm and then suffering defeats to Sergio Martinez, Gennady Golovkin and Arthur Abraham.

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