Josh Kelly will have to wait to make his big career breakthrough after the postponement of Tony Bellew-David Haye 2.
The Sunderland boxer was set to fight for a place among the world elite on the London show starring Bellew and Haye on Sunday, December 17.
However, that Sky Box Office event has been scrapped following an injury to Haye.
The injury-plagued ex-world heavyweight champ has withdrawn from the pay-per-view with the Scouser with a bicep problem which has already been operated on.
“I am devastated to announce my much-anticipated rematch against Tony Bellew has been postponed until March 24 or May 5, subject to scheduling,” Haye said in a statement.
He won’t be as devastated as Kelly, who was hoping to make a massive career move in just his fifth pro contest.
Matchroom boxing boss Eddie Hearn had earmarked a major bout for the 23-year-old at the 02 Arena following a thumping victory over José Luis Zúñiga in the second round of their international welterweight contest in Belfast last month.
Hearn stated the Sunderland sensation would box a world top 30 fighter at the London venue.
It is likely, given Kelly is some distance into a training camp, that trainer Adam Booth will try to get the 2016 Olympian a bout before the year is out, probably over six or eight rounds.
Josh though will have to wait for his crack at the world top 30.
Matchroom say they will try to stage Bellew-Haye 2 on either March 24 or May 5.
“Despite the recent injury rumours, I was in perfect condition with an incredibly strong training camp, weighing lighter than I have for more than five years,” said Haye.
“I couldn’t wait to get back in the ring. I was ready to rewrite the ending of the Haye-Bellew saga.”
Bellew, at 34 three year’s Haye’s junior, took the news well.
“I’m gutted that the rematch with David has been postponed, both for myself but more for the fans,” said Bellew. “I’ll get over this disappointment over Christmas with my family and will be straight back into camp for a new date.
“It’s a big disappointment.”