BRADLEY Saunders’ big ‘homecoming’ appearance is off after the Commonwealth light-welterweight title hopeful suffered a hand injury.
The unbeaten 29-year-old was due to be the headline act on Matchroom’s show in Newcastle a week on Saturday.
Saunders, with 12 wins out of 12 since turning professional, was due to challenge Dave “Rocky” Ryan for the Derby fighter’s Commonwealth belt at the Metro Radio Arena.
Promoters Matchroom announced in a statement that the Sedgefield star had “ruptured tendons and ligaments in his right hand during training”.
It is a massive blow for Saunders who had sold a colossal number of tickets for the event which Sky Sports will screen live.
His withdrawel has catapulted South Shields boxer Anthony Nelson into the limelight.
The undefeated English champ will now top the bill with a Commonwealth super-flyweight title match against Jamie Wilson, from Scotland.
Nelson will be joined on the bill by heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua, plus a number of North-East talents.