Former world heavyweight champion David Haye has vowed to reschedule his fight with fellow Briton Tony Bellew after pulling out of next month’s planned rematch citing a freak injury.
Bellew’s promoters said Haye had undergone surgery to repair a bicep tear suffered when he slipped on the stairs during a training exercise.
A new date for the bout with fellow WBC cruiserweight champion Bellew – either 24 March or 5 May – is due to be confirmed this week, they added.
“I am devastated to announce my much-anticipated rematch against Tony Bellew has been postponed,” said Haye, 37.
“Unfortunately, after a freak accident during a stair conditioning session, which I’ve done with no incident hundreds of times, I lost my footing, slipped, so instinctively grabbed the bannister to stop myself toppling down the stairwell, in doing so I somehow managed to damage my bicep in the process.
“It’s extremely frustrating that I couldn’t finish 2017 with just my ring performance doing the talking. I look forward to getting back to training and into the ring in early 2018 with excitement and determination.”
Haye and Bellew had been due to meet again at London’s O2 on 17 December, nine months after the latter won their first fight with an 11th-round stoppage.
Bellew’s promoters Matchroom Boxing say original tickets will remain valid for the rescheduled date.
Bellew, 34, said: “I’m gutted that the rematch with David has been postponed, both for myself but more for the fans. I’ve had a tough camp with a lot going on in my life but was ready to repeat my win from March.”