Injury forces boxer Liam Walsh to put title bid on hold

Liam Walsh (left) is to undergo surgery on his right hand.

Liam Walsh (left) is to undergo surgery on his right hand. - Credit: PA

Liam Walsh has been forced to put his dream of a world title shot on hold.

The 29-year-old Cromer fighter was due to fight a world title eliminator in October, but will, instead, have surgery on a long-standing problem on his right hand.

'He has a problem with his knuckle, which he has had for a while now,' said trainer Graham Everett. 'It keeps flaring up in training and we cannot afford to go into a fight with a problem.'

Walsh – unbeaten in his 19 fights and the current British super-featherweight champion – was pencilled in to face the Russian-born Petr Petrov on October 10 at the Manchester Arena with the victor becoming the mandatory challenger for the winner of the main event of the card, which pits WBO lightweight title holder Terry Flanagan against current mandatory challenger Diego Magdaleno.

'At this level Liam has got to be 110pc,' added Everett. 'Petrov is a real world class operator who's been in with some quality boxers.'

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Walsh will see surgeon Mike Hayton, one of the world's leading authorities on hand injuries, this week.

Hayton is the man who operated on Norwich boxer Nathan Dale in July.

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Dale is not expected to return until the New Year, although Walsh's problem is not as serious.

'It is just a minor setback for Liam,' added Everett. 'But the thinking is that he has got to be as good as he can possibly be at this level – and Liam is now operating as a genuine world-class fighter.'

Dale, meanwhile, had X-rays in Manchester last week and is expected to be back in the gym by the end of the month and punching again in December.

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