VIENNA, AFP - IBF world heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko has pulled out of his title bout against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev on September 6 in Hamburg with a torn biceps muscle, the Ukrainian has revealed.
"I am really very disappointed that the fight will not go ahead as planned," the 38-year-old, who has a record of 62 wins against just three defeats, said on Monday.
A new date for the fight, against the 33-year-old Pulev who is undefeated in 20 bouts with 11 knockouts, has not been announced.
"Obviously I am disappointed for my fans, but also my opponent who has prepared as intensively as me for this fight," continued Klitschko.
Medical tests revealed the tear which will prevent him from training for at least four weeks.
Klitschko, who also holds the WBO and IBO belts, was hoping to pave the way for a crack at the WBC world title, relinquished by his older brother Vitali, who has opted to concentrate on his political career in Ukraine.
He needed a mandatory defence of his IBF title in order to try and unify the four world championships, by potentially beating first Pulev and then Canadian Bermane Stiverne who inherited the WBC belt in May.