Dillian Whyte has suffered a shoulder injury and withdrawn from his showdown against Otto Wallin next Saturday.
Whyte was set to defend his WBC interim heavyweight title against Wallin at the O2 Arena, live on DAZN, but sustained the injury during his training camp in Portugal and pulls out with 10 days to go.
Reports emerged on Wednesday morning of an injury to ‘The Body Snatcher’, who was set to fight for the first time since his rematch victory over Alexander Povetkin in March and the news was confirmed on Wednesday evening by Matchroom Boxing.
“I am devastated as I had a great camp, was in great shape, and had great sparring,” said Whyte.
“I was looking forward to knocking Wallin out and would have done so in the first half of the fight.
“I am devastated about not being able to fight on October 30 but I want to thank everyone for all of their support.”
The show will still go ahead, however headlined by WBC super lightweight champion, Chantelle Cameron’s unification clash against IBF titlist, Mary McGee, with heavyweight, Alen Babic on a stacked undercard against two-time world title challenger, Eric Molina.
According to promoter Eddie Hearn, Whyte had been carrying the injury for a few weeks and it worsened during a sparring session on Monday, but his physician, Dr Harjinder Singh does not believe there will be any lingering effects, following a period of recovery and rehabilitation.
“Dillian sustained a shoulder injury during training in preparation for his planned fight on October 30 2021, which I have assessed and confirmed with diagnostic imaging.
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“I have treated the injury, but the injury will unfortunately prevent him from fighting on October 30 2021. With immediate rest, physiotherapy and rehabilitation there should be no enduring concerns.”
According to ESPN, the Brit is expected to press ahead for a shot at WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury rather than revisit a meeting with Wallin.
The WBC confirmed prior to the Brit’s stunning 11th round knockout over Deontay Wilder that the winner of the fight would have 30 days to secure a unification with WBA ‘Super’, WBO and IBF champion, Oleksandr Usyk or face the WBC interim champion.
Usyk, who dethroned Anthony Joshua with a superb unanimous decision victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last month will face the Watford man again next year after he triggered his rematch clause.
Wallin rose to prominence after his defeat to Tyson Fury in September 2019 in which the Swede inflicted a gruesome cut on the ‘Gypsy King’ which required 47 stitches.
The 30-year-old has secured two victories since, with a fifth round stoppage over Travis Kauffman and a unanimous decision over former two-time world title challenger, Dominic Brezeale in his most recent outing in February.
Prior to the official confirmation of the fight cancellation, Wallin’s promoter, Dmitry Salita said he was suspicious of the injury reports and believed the contest should be rescheduled.
“What’s fishy about this is that there have been rumours swirling around about Dillian Whyte pulling out of the fight,” Salita told proboxing-fans.com earlier on Wednesday.
“And Dillian Whyte even said himself, ‘I can pull out of this fight and fight Tyson Fury next’ and really from my experience as a fighter all the hard training is done.
“So the fact that he injures his shoulder yesterday, doesn’t sound right.
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“But, it could be true and whatever it is the fight should be rescheduled.
“If Dillian Whyte is truly injured, no problem. Let the fight be rescheduled for January, February, March, April, May, June, whatever, but let the fight be rescheduled.
“That will be the right thing to do for boxing and the right thing to do for this fight and the winner of the fight can fight Tyson Fury, that’ll be a fair, right thing to do for the sport of boxing.”