Gavin Rees’ lightweight clash with John Murray on the December 8 Betfair ‘Christmas Cracker’ bill is off after Murray failed a BBBofC medical.
Welshman Rees will now focus his attention on a WBA World title shot, which promoter Eddie Hearn believes will be made in the early part of 2013.
Unbeaten middleweights John Ryder and Eamonn O’Kane will face each other on the bumper card at the London Olympia live on Sky Sports, with Islington’s Ryder aiming to move to 13-0 and all-Irish Betfair Prizefighter champ O’Kane eyeing a ninth pro win.
Both men will be looking to make a big statement on the night and stake a claim for a British title shot and Hearn is delighted the fight has been made.
“Obviously it’s disappointing to lose the Rees vs. Murray fight but as always, boxers’ safety is paramount,” says Hearn. “For Gavin we will now make the WBA title fight with Richard Abril for early 2013.
“We are delighted to add Ryder vs O’Kane, it’s unusual for two unbeaten prospects to put it all on the line and I take my hat off to them. We will also announce one further fight this week for the 11 fight Olympia card.”
“Ryder vs. O’Kane is a fantastic battle and one that the fans will love,” said Hearn. “Both men are ready for British title action and I’ll expect the winner to fight for the belt early next year so they’ll be putting it all on the line.”
Hearn expects to add another fight to the cracking line-up that sees former European middleweight champions Darren Barker and Kerry Hope meet and a tasty welterweight clash for the IBF Inter-Continental title between holder Lee Purdy and BBBoC overseas fighter of the year Carson Jones.
Erick Ochieng makes the third defence of his English light-middleweight title while unbeaten Canning Town cruiserweight Wadi Camacho fights for his first title as he takes on Toks Owoh for the vacant Southern Area belt, and former Team GB stars Kal Yafai, Martin J. Ward and Callum Smith continue their pro development on show.
Tickets for Betfair’s ‘Christmas Cracker’ are on sale now priced £40 unreserved, £60 corner ringside, £80 ringside and £150 VIP. Tickets are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com