Chris Male withdraws from Joe Murray bout
Chris Male has been forced to withdraw from his English title challenge in Bolton next month.
The promising Cradley featherweight [pictured] was set to swap leather with ex-Olympian Joe Murray for the vacant belt on a Sky Sports-televised, Hatton-promoted bill at the Reebok Stadium on February 4 but has been forced out due to a suspected torn rotator cuff in his arm.
This is a yet another setback for an 11-bout unbeaten [two stoppages] former British Masters champion who spent over six months on the shelf due to a serious hand injury sustained in his title-winning effort in 2010.
But an injury this severe could place a serious question mark on the Shaun Cooper-trained 29-year-old's future involvement in the sport. Ex-British and European monarch Dean Francis suffered a similar injury and that put paid to several of his peak years - and saw his arm only at 50 per cent in a return that involved a second reign as the champion of Britain.
And there was a strong feeling in the trade [especially so in the Midlands] that Male could give the smooth-boxing Murray, also unbeaten in 11 professional outings [five inside], a solid ten-round argument in front of the television cameras. So for Male's sake, let's hope this injury isn't as bad as first feared.
Read more of Tom's Midland Boxing blog here