LONDON — World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury was forced on Friday to postpone his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko after hurting his left ankle while training for the fight.
Fury, who stunned the boxing world in November by ending Klitschko’s decade-long reign as heavyweight champion, said in a video posted on his Instagram account that he sprained the ankle on a run 10 days ago. Doctors told Fury he needs to keep off the ankle for six-to-seven weeks.
The rematch was scheduled for July 9 in Manchester.
Fury’s team posted pictures on Twitter of Fury’s heavily bruised left ankle.
“Sorry to all my fans, to let you all down,” Fury said in the video, “but injuries do happen.”
Fury didn’t give a new date for the fight.
“The fight is still going ahead,” he said. “As soon as the ankle is better, we will reschedule.”
Fury won a decision over Klitschko in Duesseldorf, Germany to take the Ukrainian’s WBO, WBA and IBF belts. Fury has since been stripped of the IBF title for failing to make a mandatory defense.
The two boxers haven’t fought since the original bout.
Fury said he tried to continue training after hurting his ankle and having an X-ray and an MRI scan. He had a second opinion, but another doctor gave the same advice.
“There was no way Tyson could go into the fight against Wladimir Klitschko less than 100 percent fit,” said Fury’s promoter, Mick Hennessy. “It’s essential now that Tyson gets the correct medical professional treatment for the injury and then we can then look to announce the new date.”
Klitschko’s management also confirmed the fight was off.
“Of course I am totally disappointed about the postponement,” Klitschko said. “… But one thing is clear: I’ll get my belt back a few weeks later.”
Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, said the team was working “feverishly” to find a new date and that it’s “very likely” the fight will be rescheduled for Manchester again.