Joseph Parker has pulled out of his fight against Dereck Chisora later this month.
The heavyweight pair were due to face off at London’s O2 Arena on October 26, as part of the card for the World Boxing Super Series super-lightweight final between Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis.
But Kiwi Parker is suffering with illness and will not be ready to take on the Brit, promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed.
Hearn tweeted: “Due to illness, @joeboxerparker is out of the @DerekWarChisora fight on October 26. We are working on a suitable replacement and will make a further announcement this week”.
It is unclear who will step in to face Chisora at such short notice, but Michael Hunter has thrown his hat into the ring.
Hunter has 18 wins from 19 professional fights – his only loss coming to Oleksandr Usyk at cruiserweight – and is undefeated since moving up to heavyweight.
He beat Sergey Kuzmin last month on points, and a potential showdown with Alexander Povetkin on the Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr undercard in December has been mooted.
But Hunter called on Hearn to give him a call in response to news of Parker’s withdrawal from the Chisora fight.
Chisora has won 31 of his 40 career bouts while Parker’s two defeats both came on British soil in 2018 – against Anthony Joshua in Cardiff and Dillian Whyte in London.
The Brit, 35, had complained last month about not being the main event of the London show.
He said: “Give me main event or pull me out of the show. I’m not going to sell out the O2 for them guys to be the main event.
“I’m being serious, you want me to sell it out to the London crowd, my London fans, then put these little guys that no one knows about on my show and mug me off.
“I’m taking the main stage, if not I want more money.”