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Page last updated at 18:42 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 19:42 UK

Injured Saunders to miss Worlds

Bradley Saunders
Saunders was considered a strong favourite for the world title

British welterweight Bradley Saunders will miss the World Championships in Milan next month after breaking his left thumb in a training bout.

The 23-year-old, who won bronze at the 2007 championships, has won all of his 14 fights since losing in the second round of the Beijing Olympics.

He beat world number one and Olympic champion Alexei Tishchenko in May and admitted: "I'm in the form of my life.

"I'm devastated. I really thought I was going to Milan and the title was mine."

Saunders injured his thumb in the first round of an exhibition bout with Irishman Phil Sutcliffe but continued until the end, believing the injury to be minor.

But X-rays revealed he needed surgery, with a recovery period of five weeks predicted.

Saunders is now likely to compete at the 2012 London Olympics, having previously considered turning professional following Milan.

"I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason," he said. "I would definitely have thought about turning pro if I'd won in Milan but now I've got no option.

"I'm going to focus totally on 2012. Maybe then I'll look back and be glad this all happened. But for now I'm wondering when my luck is going to change."

see also
Saunders makes winning comeback
17 Jun 09 |  Boxing
No drug charges for Olympic boxer
17 Apr 09 |  Wear
Olympic boxer in cocaine arrest
25 Nov 08 |  Wear

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