Tom Whitfield-Billy Snaith title fight off after injury to South Shields boxer

Tom Whitfield: Title blow
Tom Whitfield: Title blow

Luckless Tom Whitfield is out of his light-middleweight British Promoters Challenge Belt contest.

The 30-year-old has been forced to withdraw from this Saturday’s eight-round derby match with Ferryhill’s Billy Snaith in Newcastle.

Whitfield damaged his right hand sparring with stablemate Lee Mould at the Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare gym.

Trainer Mal Gates said the camp were gutted.

It is the second time in a year that the welterweight has been cursed by injury - 12 months ago a broken jaw put him out of his Northern Area championship fight with Hartlepool’s Daniel Cope.

Gates said: “I feel sick for Tom. When he was sparring his hurt his hand when he landed a shot on the top of Lee’s head.

“At first I joked ‘don’t be soft’ but when I took off his glove it looked bad.

“He’s damaged the ligaments in his right thumb and he can’t punch for three weeks – he’ll probably be out for six.

“Tom was on about strapping it up and still fighting but not only would he not pass the doctor’s examination but I would not put in an injured boxer.

“It’s another blow for Tom, but he’ll be back.

“Hopefully the bout can be arranged again.”

Whitfield has enjoyed little luck, last year’s broken jaw delayed his title showdown with Cope.

When the bout finally came off last October, the South Shields boxer suffered his first pro defeat when he was stopped in the eighth round by his rival in their Northern Area welterweight title battle in Ashington.

The pair are now level at 1-1 in their rivalry and Whitfield and Gates are hoping for a decider.

“That’s the fight Tom wants,” said Gates.