A medical delay over Russian challenger Artur Akavov has resulted in his WBO World Middleweight title fight with Billy Joe Saunders being postponed by seven days to December 3.
The pair were due to meet at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff this Saturday 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 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 said: “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 Cardiff event is still set to feature four big title fights. Terry Flanagan defends his WBO World Lightweight Championship against Puerto Rico’s Orlando Cruz, whilst Liam Williams challenges Gabor Gorbics for the Vacant WBO European Super-Welterweight title, Tommy Langford faces Sam Sheedy for the Vacant British Middleweight Championship and Tom Stalker and Craig Evans do battle for the third time for the WBO European Lightweight Championship after two hard fought draws.
December 3’s Paisley Lagoon Centre show, broadcast live and exclusive on BoxNation, 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.