Joshua Buatsi’s clash against fellow unbeaten light heavyweight contender Dan Azeez was postponed Tuesday after it was announced Azeez suffered a back injury.
Azeez sustained the injury in his final training session and UK-based promoter BOXXER is now working to reschedule the fight that was due to take place at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, south London, England, this Saturday.
“I’m devastated for this to happen on fight week,” said Azeez.
“It still hasn’t sunk in. I’ve never had to withdraw from a fight in my career before. I want to apologise to all the fans, especially those travelling to the fight. I am also extremely sorry to my opponent Joshua Buatsi, to my promoter and to everyone involved who has worked so hard on this date. I hope this fight can be rescheduled as soon as possible.”
Azeez (20-0, 13 KOs), 34, was due to face his old friend turned rival Buatsi (17-0, 13 KOs), 30, to decide who progresses closer to a world title shot, with the potential of the winner challenging WBC, IBF and WBO world light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev next year. Buatsi and Azeez are both ranked in the top four by all four world governing bodies.
BOXXER CEO Ben Shalom hopes to announce a new date as soon as possible between the two English contenders.
He said: “I know that Dan would do anything to be in the ring on Saturday night and for this to happen at this stage is devastating. This is a huge fight for British Boxing, but the health and safety of our fighters must come first. My heart goes out to Dan and Joshua, who have both completed tough camps, and to the fans, with more than 10,000 having made arrangements to come on Saturday.”