Tyson Fury’s world heavyweight re-match with Wladimir Klitschko has been postponed after the British boxer suffered an ankle injury.
The 27-year-old was due to face Ukraine’s Klitschko in Manchester on 9 July, with the WBA, WBO and IBO belts on the line, but Fury has now pulled out on doctor’s orders.
In an Instagram video, he said: “I’ve got a little bit of bad news for you all. About 10 days ago I was running in the Lake District and went over on my ankle, spraining my ankle.
“I’ve been to the hospital and had X-rays, MRI scans and all that stuff. They’ve said it’s not broken but it’s badly sprained and to keep off it for six to seven weeks.
“I’ve had a second opinion a week later and had the same advice so the fight will be postponed.”
Fury upset the odds to become world champion in Dusseldorf last November, handing Klitschko his first defeat in 11 years by comfortably outpointing the veteran in a bravura performance.
He hopes the rematch will still go ahead once he has recovered from his setback.
“Sorry to all my fans, to let you all down, but injuries do happen and it’s one of those things,” Fury added.
“My apologies to everyone who’s booked dates, but the fight will be on as soon as possible. As soon as the ankle gets better, we will reschedule.”
His uncle and trainer, Peter Fury, posted a photo of his nephew’s bruised ankle on Twitter, and said: “So theirs no doubt. Of injury thank you. & sorry to our fans. Fight date will be postponed with new date released very soon prob today.
“Fight will remain in Manchester with same venue.”
Klitschko admitted he was saddened by the postponement and is eager to have the bout rearranged.
He said: “Of course I am currently totally disappointed about the cancellation.
“As well for my fans I’m very sorry who were all very excited for this rematch. But one thing is also clear: Then I’ll get my belt a few weeks later.”
Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessy added: “It’s very unfortunate at this crucial stage of Tyson’s preparations that this injury has occurred with just a couple of weeks to go.
“There was no way Tyson could go into the fight against Wladimir Klitschko less than 100 per cent fit.
“It’s essential now that Tyson gets the correct medical professional treatment for the injury and then we can then look to announce the new date.
“I feel for the fans who have purchased tickets and for the BoxNation viewers who were looking forward to this summer blockbuster, but we will put all our efforts into making sure Tyson fully recovers and then get the rematch back on.”