Martin Murray is still fighting next Saturday, when he takes on Roberto Garcia for the WBC silver middleweight title in London, but he’s clearly got some pent-up frustration with Billy Joe Saunders, the WBO titleholder who twice pulled out of dates set with Murray.
Murray let loose on Saunders speaking with ESPN:
“It was definitely a fake injury. I knew that the first time he pulled out when we were supposed to be fighting April 14, then he did it again for June 23. ... With him doing that just shows the type of person he is. I wouldn’t lead people on like that. I went away to Tenerife for both training camps, so I lost time with the family which I will never get back but that’s what happens when you’re trying to do a deal with a dickhead. He didn’t have an injury, he wasn’t in the gym, he was hoping to fight Golovkin instead in August, but I don’t think he’s got the balls to fight Golovkin or Canelo.”
The reality of the situation is that a lot of people are seeing it this way. Personally I have no idea if Saunders suffered a legitimate injury or not, but Saunders reportedly was set to fight Gennady Golovkin in August, until Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez agreed to a September 15 rematch deal at the last minute. So the belief among many — and boxing history encourages us to think in conspiracies — is that Saunders pulled out of the June 23 date with Murray because he thought there was a bigger money opportunity with one of Golovkin or Canelo, and, well, it looks like Saunders would have been right, there was a fight with GGG, until there wasn’t, because GGG found a bigger fight for himself.
So now we’ve got Murray (36-4-1, 17 KO) taking on Garcia (41-3, 24 KO), with Saunders (26-0, 12 KO) left without an opponent for the time being. Saunders hasn’t fought since December 2017, and right now he’s got nothing scheduled, and the first half of 2018 behind him.
But maybe Saunders will schedule a big fight with someone like Daniel Jacobs or Jermall Charlo or Demetrius Andrade and ultimately nobody will really care about this in the end.