Hughie Fury pulls out of world heavyweight title fight with Joseph Parker due to injury
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 23/04/17 8:53pm
Hughie Fury has been forced to pull out of his world heavyweight title fight against Joseph Parker after suffering a lower back injury.
The unbeaten Brit (20-0 KO10) was scheduled to face the WBO champion in Auckland, New Zealand, on May 6, in what would have been his first world title fight.
However, a statement from Team Fury and Hennessy Sports said the fighter had been advised to rest for three to four weeks after being declared medically unfit to box and insisted the bout would be rescheduled.
"It is with our deepest regret that we have to announce that the WBO world heavyweight championship between the champion, Joseph Parker, and mandatory challenger, Hughie Fury, scheduled for Saturday 6th May 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand, has been postponed," the statement said.
"Hughie has been declared medically unfit to box following a medical assessment. He has suffered an injury to his lower back which has been a serious issue for the last three weeks that has left him unable to train to his full capacity.
"Despite receiving intense physiotherapy treatment and his desire to fight for the WBO world title, after seeing his physiotherapist last Friday he has been advised to rest for three to four weeks before resuming training.
"Understandably, Hughie is devastated by the injury which has temporarily halted his dream of fighting for the world heavyweight title, but the fight will be rescheduled and a new date will be announced shortly.
"Hughie and Team Fury wish to express their sincerest apologies to Joseph Parker, the WBO, the fans and public in New Zealand and to all the boxing fans around the world who had been looking forward to the highly anticipated fight."
Parker's promotional company, Duco Events, revealed in a statement that work is already underway to secure a replacement.
"Duco Events was today notified by the World Boxing Organisation that mandatory No 1 challenger Hughie Fury has an injury, and will be unable to challenge champion Joseph Parker for the Heavyweight Title on May 6 in Auckland," the statement read.
"The World Boxing Organisation has, therefore, advised Duco Events to investigate the possibility of Joseph Parker making a voluntary defence of his heavyweight title against an opponent ranked in the top 15 of the world rankings.
"Duco Events is currently investigating all options and will make no further comment today."
Fury was previously blighted by a debilitating skin condition that left him operating at only "30 per cent", according to his father and trainer, Peter Fury.
The 22-year-old, who is the younger cousin of former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, was forced to withdraw from a potential British title fight against Dillian Whyte last May due to the condition.
Parker (22-0 KO18) had been preparing to make the first defence of the WBO strap that he claimed last December by defeating Andy Ruiz.
The 25-year-old Kiwi insisted earlier this week that there is a 'big possibility' of him facing the winner of Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight title fight with Wladimir Klitschko, live on Sky Sports Box Office.