An injury to Wladimir Klitschko has curtailed any talk of a world heavyweight title fight between the Ukrainian great and IBF strap-holder Anthony Joshua.
December 10 had been earmarked for a potential bout between Joshua and Klitschko for the IBF and WBA titles that the latter lost to Tyson Fury last year.
Fury was stripped of his IBF belt over a none-defence but vacated the other titles he won from Klitschko as he focuses on treatment and recovery after admitting using cocaine to battle depression this year.
Joshua will regardless defend his belt at the Manchester Arena, but promoter Eddie Hearn says any fight with Klitschko deserves a billing bigger than it can realistically receive roughly six weeks out from fight night.
“We’ve been in deep negotiations for a few weeks now waiting on the decision from the WBA,” Hearn said.
“I was made aware that Wladimir picked up a minor injury late last week but regardless of that, with just over six weeks to go until December 10, it’s unrealistic to put together a fight of this magnitude and give it the full build up it deserves.
“There will be an official announcement on Joshua v Klitschko coming very soon but for now we are seeking a new foe for December 10 and building a huge card for Manchester.”