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Christmas Cracker: John Murray fails physical, fight with Gavin Rees canceled

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John Murray is out of his December 8 fight with Gavin Rees after failing a physical, which also knocks Rees off of the Matchroom/Sky 'Christmas Cracker' card.

Al Bello

Lightweight John Murray has been forced to withdraw from his December 8 fight against Gavin Rees on Matchroom and Sky's "Christmas Cracker" card, after failing a physical.

Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing says that losing the fight is "obviously disappointing," but he will now focus his efforts on landing Rees his deserved shot at the vacant WBA lightweight title against Richard Abril. Abril was to face Sharif Bogere for the belt on the Guerrero-Berto card, but that was called off due to an injury to Bogere. There was plenty of criticism of that fight anyway, given that Rees and Abril had been originally matched up for the vacant title, only to have Golden Boy sort of "steal" the fight and give it to Bogere.

If Rees-Abril does happen, the only home for the fight is in the UK, and it's a good fight between a couple of guys who have earned the right to go after that vacant title, previously held by Brandon Rios. It may not end up the most pleasing fight to watch, but both of them have fought their way there.

The "Christmas Cracker" bill still moves forward, with Lee Purdy facing Carson Jones, and Darren Barker returning against Kerry Hope.