sport

Purdy out of Jones fight

Lee Purdy has been forced to pull out of his fight with Carson Jones on Saturday night with a virus, Eddie Hearn has revealed.

The Essex welterweight was due to headline the promoter's 'Christmas Cracker' bill at London Olympia against the American, but the clash is off.

It is the second big fight on the card to collapse after John Murray failed a medical ahead of his proposed showdown with Gavin Rees.

It is a disappointing end to a fine year for Matchroom promotions in the first few months of their tie-up with Sky Sports.

Hearn has put on huge live shows in Sheffield and Nottingham featuring Kell Brook and Carl Froch, while Purdy has turned his career around with three successive wins and claiming the IBF international title.

Saturday's bill will still see the return of middleweight Darren Barker against former European champion Kerry Hope which will now be for the IBF inter-continental championship.

"We are all gutted to lose this fight and will now rearrange the bout for March," said Hearn. "Barker now takes on Hope in a 12 round championship contest and John Ryder's crunch middleweight test against Eamonn O'Kane will be an eliminator for the British title.

"Erick Ochieng defends his English light-middleweight title against British title challenger Max Maxwell, while unbeaten cruiserweight Wadi Camacho faces Toks Owoh for the vacant Southern Area strap.

"Exciting bantamweight star Kal Yafai faces Spanish champion Jorge Perez and impressive young former Team GB stars Martin J. Ward and Callum Smith also feature in what promises to be a great end to our shows in 2012."

Saturday Fight Night also features the WBA super-middleweight fight from Denmark between Mikkel Kessler and Brian Magee.