Injury forces Gavin Rees to pull out of title defence

Gavin Rees won the European lightweight title against Andrew Murray in April
Rees won the European lightweight title against Andrew Murray in April

European lightweight champion Gavin Rees will not face Derry Matthews in a title defence this month due to injury.

Rees, who defeated Andrew Murray to claim the title in June, had been scheduled to face Matthews at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on 23 July.

But the 31-year-old damaged a tendon in his left hand whilst sparring and will see a hand specialist on Wednesday.

The fight's promoters said they hoped to arrange a new date in September or October.

"I'm devastated," Rees's trainer Gary Lockett told BBC Sport Wales.

"We've worked very very hard and he was improving in every aspect in his training.

"He spared Danny Butler last week and caught him on his head with his knuckle and he's done the tendons in his knuckle.

"He's had problems with his knuckles for a few years now but this time it cracked very and I think he hurt it more than ever and it's very stiff at the moment."

The fight's promoters also confirmed fans who purchased tickets for the show will receive a full refund from their point of purchase.

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