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Saunders to make fourth defence of his WBO middleweight title against Murray

Saunders hopes to face the winner of the rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

Billy Joe Saunders will make the fourth defence of his WBO middleweight title against Martin Murray on the same April 14 bill as Terry Flanagan attempts to become a two-weight world champion.

Saunders delivered a standout display in a wide points victory over David Lemieux in the Canadian’s hometown last month and has his sights set on either WBC, WBA and IBF titlist Gennady Golovkin or Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who are reportedly close to agreeing terms for a rematch.

The 28-year-old Saunders will therefore hope to make another impression against British compatriot Murray, who will be aiming to break his duck at world level at the fifth attempt.

“Martin Murray is a good fighter and I have got the greatest of respect for him. But he’s in the way of what I’m aiming for this year and that is to become undisputed middleweight world champion,” Saunders said.

On the same card, which Press Association Sport understands will be held at London’s O2 Arena, former WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan moves up in weight to face unbeaten American Maurice Hooker for the vacant WBO light-welterweight strap.

The Mancunian said: “I’m very confident I’ll be able to deal with anything (Hooker) throws at me to become a two-weight world champion. Winning this fight will prove I’m a legitimate 140lb fighter. I’ll be looking to unify the belts later in the year.”

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