David Haye’s anticipated all-British heavyweight clash with Tyson Fury has been postponed due to the former world champion suffering a deep cut in training.
The fight was due to take place in Manchester next Saturday, but Haye has been forced to pull out of the encounter after picking up the injury in his final sparring session.
It is the second fight in a row Haye has had to postpone due to injury, after his scheduled bout with Manuel Charr was called off in June this year when he picked up a hand injury.
The winner of the heavyweight clash was being linked with a follow-up match against one of the Klitschko brothers early next year, but that appears to now be on hold with Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev also in the running. The heavyweight division has been dominated by the Klitschko's in recent years, with Haye losing his WBA championship to Wladimir on an unanimous points decision.
Haye's last conquerer defends his titles against Alexander Povetkin in Moscow on October 5, and both Haye and Fury were hoping victory next weekend would propel them into consideration for a championship opportunity.
Haye released a statement confirming the news, and published it on his official Twitter account with the caption "This is the worst tweet I've ever had send. I'm so sorry everyone."
"Hayemaker Boxing regret to inform that David Haye has been forced to postpone his September 28 bout with Tyson Fury due to a deep cut suffered during the final spar of training camp," the statement read.
"The cut above his left eyebrow occurred in round two of sparring on Friday night (September 19) and required six stitches by a plastic surgeon at St. Thomas' hospital. Because of the gravity of the cut, these stitches will now remain in place for five to seven days.
"Unfortunately, after being properly assessed, Haye was left with no choice but to postpone his fight with Fury, scheduled for next Saturday night in Manchester. He is currently waiting on further medical assessment to determine the extent of the postponement.
“Gutted isn't even the word,” said Haye. “Mentally, I'm on the floor at the moment. I'm devastated most of all for my loyal fans, my family and my team, as well as Tyson Fury and his team.
“I know injuries and cuts are part and parcel of our sport, but this doesn't change the feeling of disappointment and sadness I'm experiencing right now. To everyone who has bought tickets, booked hotels, and followed this fight since it was announced, there is absolutely nothing I can do except apologise from the very bottom of my heart.
“Even when everything seems to be right on track, sometimes life throws you a curveball. I will somehow have to try and make the best of this horrible situation. But, right now, I'm in bits about what has happened.”
Fury meanwhile took to his Twitter account to apologise to fans that had bought tickets for the fight, while also taking the opportunity to goad Haye further.
He wrote: "Sorry for every1 who bought tickets & hotels. Haye excuses r boring. He don't want to fight me!"