x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Klitschko out of title fight due to back injury

Wladimir Klitschko withdrew from his WBO and IBF heavyweight title defense against unbeaten British challenger Dereck Chisora because of a torn muscle in his back.

MANNHEIM, GERMANY // Wladimir Klitschko withdrew from his WBO and IBF heavyweight title defense against the unbeaten British challenger Dereck Chisora because of a torn muscle in his back.

Klitschko's 19th title defence had been scheduled for Saturday in Mannheim, but he pulled out yesterday with an injury described by his boxing adviser in the United States as not being particularly serious.

"Wladimir has withdrawn from the fight, that is correct. He has torn a muscle in his back," Shelley Finkel said. "It is not too serious though. He should be able to fight again within 60 days."

Talks are now expected between the fighters' representatives over rescheduling the fight.

In the build-up to the fight, the relatively inexperienced Chisora (14-0) had thanked Klitschko for the opportunity but also insulted the quality of the Ukrainian's previous opponents, his trainer and girlfriend.

Klitschko has a 55-3 record with 49 knock-outs. WBA heavyweight champion David Haye wants to fight him and his brother Vitali, the WBC titleholder, in a bid to unify the heavyweight division.