Joshua Buatsi had been set to face Dan Azeez in a crucial light-heavyweight clash at The O2 on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports; BOXXER CEO Ben Shalom says fight night still expected to go ahead, with card featuring Isaac Chamberlain vs Mikael Lawal
Wednesday 18 October 2023 06:08, UK
Joshua Buatsi's British battle with Dan Azeez this weekend has been postponed after Azeez suffered a back injury in his final training session.
Buatsi had been set to face Azeez in a crucial light-heavyweight clash at The O2 on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports, but doctors have ruled Azeez is unable to fight due to a trapped nerve in his back.
BOXXER founder and CEO Ben Shalom said the fight night is still expected to go ahead, with a card featuring Isaac Chamberlain against Mikael Lawal.
"Isaac Chamberlain will be fighting Mikael Lawal for the British Cruiserweight title in a fight which has been talked about for months now," Shalom said.
"Sam Gilley will fight against Louie Greene for the super welterweight commonweight title, while the story goes on for Olympic hero Karriss Artingstall.
"A great night of boxing will go ahead on Saturday night. The team are working overtime right now to make sure everything goes ahead.
"Health and safety has to come first. It's a dangerous sport. The key for us now is to make sure the event goes ahead on Saturday and we get those brilliant fights on.
"Hopefully, Buatsi-Azeez which is possibly the fight of the year, can be rearranged for this side of Christmas."
"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."
Shalom added: "It's tough to take for everyone involved.
"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. However, 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."