Anthony Yarde has been forced to pull out of his comeback fight with Emin Atra because of a tooth abscess.
The fight, which was scheduled for Saturday night on BT Sport Boxing, will be postponed to a later date at a location to be announced. The 29-year-old British light-heavyweight, a former world title challenger, sustained the injury just days before he was due to face the unbeaten German.
Yarde (20-2) was once considered to be one of the hottest prospects in British boxing before he was shockingly knocked out in the 11th round by former WBO world champion Sergey Kovalev.
Yarde’s loss to Kovalev did little to derail his career, but he suffered a major setback when he was defeated by Lyndon Arthur last December, losing a close split-decision (115-114, 115-114, 111-117) in a fight where he was the heavy favourite.
“I am frustrated, but it is what it is, and I won’t rush anything,” Yarde said. “It just makes me even more eager to get back out.
“It should take about two weeks. The tooth is next to my canine, so I am going to have to use a denture for a little while before having an implant. I definitely won’t be out for long. The dentist lady literally laughed when I told her I had a fight coming up. It is one of those things, and I have just got to deal with it.”
Promoter Frank Warren struggled to hide his disappointment but insisted the show must go on this weekend despite the loss of one of his most prized assets.
He said: “It is disappointing for both Anthony and the viewers this time around, but the fight will go ahead on one of our forthcoming shows. However, we’ve got a great show to look forward to on Saturday, topped by the terrific British and Commonwealth middleweight title battle between Denzel Bentley and Felix Cash.
“I think everybody is looking forward to this one, plus we’ve got the return of Callum Johnson in a good fight against the experienced Emil Markic and our big heavyweight prospect David Adeleye back in action and looking to impress.”