Billy Joe Saunders will defend his WBO super middleweight world title against Martin Murray at The SSE Arena on December 4.
Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) was on the brink of securing a blockbuster clash with four-weight world champion, Canelo Alvarez in May prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Brit subsequently withdrawing himself from the fight.
The two-weight world champion makes a second defence of his WBO crown and fights for the first time since an 11th round stoppage of Marcelo Esteban Coceres on the KSI-Logan Paul undercard at Staples Center last November.
The pair were set to meet in 2018, when Saunders was WBO middleweight world champion, however the 31-year-old pulled out twice through injury.
“I am very happy to be defending my WBO World Title again,” said Saunders.
“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.
“Martin and I were supposed to fight twice before but it didn’t happen either time.
“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.”
Murray (39-5-1, 17 KOs) will attempt to win a world title at the fifth time of asking after three losses to Sergio Martinez, Gennady Golovkin and Arthur Abraham, coupled with a split decision draw against Felix Sturm in 2011.
The 38-year-old has won two on the bounce since a majority decision defeat to former Callum Smith foe Hassan N’Dam and says he has unfinished business with his rival.
“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.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “I’m delighted to announce another big fight for the 2020 schedule as we close out this tough year with a huge bang.
“All-British World title fights are always special, especially in the Super-Middleweight division, and I’m really excited to see Billy back in the ring.
“We were 24 hours away from an announcement for Billy to fight Canelo when the pandemic hit and so it throws up the final roll of the dice for Martin Murray who will give it everything on December 4.”