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Unbeaten Islington middleweight Joe Duffy faces a frustrating spell out of the ring until the summer due to an ongoing hand injury.

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Duffy had been listed to make his first appearance of the year on the Hellraiser Promotions show on Friday night at the Camden Centre, Kings Cross.

But the injury to his right hand, which he sustained at the same venue in November, has failed to heal – and the 26-year-old must wait until at least May before making his comeback.

It is a blow for the former mixed martial arts fighter, who had accrued seven wins from as many bouts since his decision to join boxing’s paid ranks almost a year ago.

“At first we thought my hand was broken,” Duffy recalled. “It was incredibly swollen and they did the X-ray, but no break showed up and it didn’t seem like there was a problem.

“But since then I’ve been struggling in sparring and I haven’t been able to hit pads. Basically I just wasn’t really getting anywhere.

“So we’ve had to knock this one on the head and concentrate on getting back out in the summer. Fingers crossed I’ll be 100 per cent in May or June.

“My trainer John [Tandy] wanted me to have a month off completely, which will give the hand the best chance to heal and I’ll be back in the gym soon.

“In the meantime I’ve been keeping my diet strict and trying to keep in shape that way.

“It’s frustrating, but I know I’ve got to give it a good rest – otherwise it’ll be a case of hurting the hand in the first round and back to square one.”

However, Duffy will be attending Friday’s show to watch training partner Arthur Hermann, a German middleweight puncher who is making his UK debut on the undercard.

The bill is being screened on Eurosport and will be headed by Southern Area middleweight champion Elliott Matthews from Watford, who defends his crown against south Londoner Diego Burton.

Former Islington BC captain Aarron Morgan also features on the undercard, making his second professional appearance in a four-round clash with Matthew Ashmole.

Light-middleweight Tony Milch, from Archway, will be in action with a four-rounder against Ben Robinson, while another north London-based fighter, light-welterweight Ben Day, also appears on the bill.

Doors open at 6pm, with boxing scheduled to begin an hour later. Call 020 7352 1593 for ticket information.

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