MARTIN Murray has pulled out of next month's fight against Australian Jarrod Fletcher due to a hand injury.

The fight in Monte Carlo on February 1 was originally billed as for the vacant WBA middleweight title, however that was scuppered when the sports governing body declined to elevate reigning champion Gennady Golovkin to the super title.

The fight was still going to go ahead for Murray’s WBA interim middleweight belt – but now that is not going to happen.

The way this process has unravelled since the first announcement of the fight at the Langtree Park press conference is bitterly disappointing for Murray and also his followers who have already bought tickets, booked flights and hotels in Monaco.

The collapse of this contest immediately sparked speculation that Murray could again be in the frame for a rematch against new IBF champion Felix Sturm.

Sturm will have to wait on what former champion Darren Barker decides – because the British fighter had a re-match agreement clause tied in, but he has undergone an operation after dislocating his hip in that bout in Germany.