Jarrod Fletcher has claimed his middleweight bout against Martin Murray has been cancelled after his opponent pulled out.
As reported by Sky Sports, a statement posted on Fletcher's Facebook account explains how he will no longer face the 31-year-old Brit on Feb. 1:
Martin Murray has pulled out of his scheduled world title fight with Jarrod "Left Jab" Fletcher! Left Jab will still fight on the Gennady Golovkin vs. Osumanu Adama card, with the announcement of the new opponent to be made as soon as possible!
Fletcher—who confirmed a winning streak of five consecutive fights with his unanimous decision win over Tim Kanofski on Oct. 11 of last year, per Boxrec—indicated he isn't best pleased with the news, per Sky Sports' report:
I'm a little disappointed, but there is no point in getting down. I'm still fighting, which is the main thing. I just have to focus on my preparation, which is going well. Just over three weeks to go until fight time. It doesn't matter who I fight, I'm focused and ready for this.
Murray's decision to reportedly pull out of the fight is the second high-profile boxing postponement in as many days. Frustratingly for British fans, Nathan Cleverly was forced to quit his cruiserweight debut against Ilunga Makabu after suffering a "minor injury" during training, per Martin Domin of the Daily Mail.
Both Murray and Hatton Promotions are yet to comment on Fletcher's statement, so the reason for dropping the encounter remains unclear.
Grantlee Kieza of Australia's Courier Mail suggests Murray may have received a more lucrative offer to fight Felix Sturm in a rematch of their 2011 draw, while Fletcher is likely to settle for Max Bursak during the Golovkin vs. Adama card he was originally scheduled to compete on:
Max Bursak likely as Jarrod Fletcher's new foe - dont be surprised if Martin Murray fights Sturm now for much bigger purse and IBF title— Grantlee Kieza (@GrantleeKieza) January 8, 2014
My mail is Martin Murray has looked great in the gym - good enough to beat Sturm in a soon to be announced rematch. Now Fletcher v Bursak— Grantlee Kieza (@GrantleeKieza) January 8, 2014
Murray was terrific during the Mannheim clash with Sturm and will feel he could finally overcome the German if he is given another shot.
Would Martin Murray beat Felix Sturm in a rematch?
At the time of writing, Murray's official website opens with a breakdown of his stats compared to Fletcher, so it appears as if an update should arrive quickly from the boxer's camp.
An alternate Daily Mail report from Domin claimed Murray had "a golden opportunity to win a world title at the third time of asking" when the Fletcher bout was confirmed, suggesting many fans may be saddened to see him give up the opportunity for the WBA middleweight title.
Murray is unlikely to leave supporters hanging for long, however, and should be expected to detail his plans imminently.