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Wladimir Klitschko - Dereck Chisora heavyweight bout cancelled

As if the heavyweight division needed more bad news.

Wladimir Klitschko, citing a torn abdominal muscle, withdrew from his heavyweight title fight against England's Dereck Chisora on Wednesday.

Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs), the IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champ, was set to defend his titles on Saturday against Chisora (14-0, 9 KOs) in Manheim, Germany. It would've been the 10th title defense for the 34-year-old native of Kazakhstan.

"Unfortunately I can't fight on Saturday night," Klitschko said in a video interview. "I tore a muscle in a workout."

Klitschko said the injury should be healed in six weeks.

The Klitschko camp is unsure if the fight will be rescheduled.

"We don't know. This just happened," Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente told "We have to check all the options."

The larger issue here is how much more damage does this cancellation do the division and the sport.

A young fighter like Chisora, 26, missing out on a chance for a heavyweight title won't send any ripples. And considering the fairly decent the heavyweight division in throughout the Eastern Hemisphere, the bout being cancelled won't do much damage internationally.

In United States, however, it's another blow to a division that doesn't need to take anymore hits.

The heavyweight divsion has been in free-fall mode since the decline of Mike Tyson. Evander Holyfield is too old for anyone to really care, while retread fighters like James Toney, Hasim Rahman and Shannon Briggs have done little to bring stability or hope to the division.

The last time two Americans fought each other for a legitimate heavyweight title came in 2002 when Holyfield lost a unanimous decision to Chris Byrd for the vacant IBF title.

If Roy Jones can jump from light heavyweight to heavyweight and win a title, something is definitely wrong with the division.




New York Sports