A fall down a flight of stairs has forced David Haye to postpone his upcoming fight with Tony Bellew, the boxer himself has announced in a statement.
The 37-year-old Londoner was due to enter the ring with Bellew on December 17, though it was revealed on Monday that Haye has withdrawn due to a bicep injury.
Haye confirmed that surgery will be required, but he insisted that he will return to rehabilitation in two weeks.
He said in his statement: "I am devastated to announce my much-anticipated rematch against Tony Bellew has been postponed until March 24 or May 5, subject to scheduling.
"Despite the recent injury rumours, I was in perfect condition with an incredibly strong training camp, currently weighing lighter than I have for more than five years, I couldn’t wait to get back in the ring. I was ready to rewrite the ending of the Haye Bellew saga.
"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 banister to stop myself toppling down the stairwell, in doing so I somehow managed to damage my bicep in the process.
"This afternoon I underwent a procedure to repair it, this was pretty straightforward and my doctor and physiotherapist have no doubt that not only will I make a full recovery but will be able to be back in the gym to start my arm rehabilitation in two weeks.
"I would like to apologise to Tony, his family and his training team, as well as all our fans who have been left disappointed. I’ve been solely focussed on this fight and 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."
Bellew himself was disappointed that the fight will not go ahead as planned.
"I’m gutted that the rematch with David has been postponed, both for myself but more for the fans," said Bellew.
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