MARTIN Ward must wait another two months for his crack at the Commonwealth title.
The banatmweight from West Rainton has been forced to pull out of his big championship fight with Gabriel Laryea with a back problem.
Ward and Laryea were due to slug it out for the vacant 8st 6lb belt at Houghton a week on Saturday.
They will now meet in December on a date and at a venue still to be decided.
Promoter Phil Jeffries said: “I feel gutted for Martin and (coach) Neil Fannan. But they have been in professional boxing a long time and know these things happen.
“Martin will fight for the title but he’ll just have to wait a couple of months.”
The show will still go on at the Rainton Meadows Arena with a new top of the bill.
The North-East derby for the vacant English lightweight title between Sunderland’s Kirk Goodings and Boro’s ex-Commonwealth champ Paul Truscott will headline the event.
“It’s a cracking fight,” said Jeffries. “Kirk will fight anyone and we know all about Paul and what a good boxer he is. It’s a 50-50 bout and a worthy top of the bill.”