Saunders vs Akavov delayed until December 3

23/11/2016 17:09

British middleweight Billy Joe Saunders' world title defence against Artur Akavov has been postponed by a week to December 3.

Saunders, who dethroned Ireland's Andy Lee last December, had been due to make the first defence of his WBO middleweight title on Saturday night at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales, but the fight will now take place at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley, Scotland, a week later.

Problems with the translation of medical paperwork supplied by the Russian's team have forced an unavoidable delay, with the bout having already been delayed once after Saunders suffered an injury in training.

"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 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."

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 card still goes ahead, featuring four big title fights as Terry Flanagan defends his WBO lightweight title against Puerto Rico's Orlando Cruz, while Welshman Liam Williams challenges Gabor Gorbics for the vacant WBO European light middleweight title.

Tommy Langford faces Sam Sheedy for the vacant British middleweight title and Tom Stalker and Craig Evans meet for the third time for the WBO European lightweight title after two hard-fought draws.