Haye pulls out of Bellew fight after 'freak accident'

David Haye before the fight at The O2, London, Britain, in this file photo. — Reuters

MANCHESTER, England — Britain's former heavyweight world champion David Haye has pulled out of next month's scheduled showdown with WBC cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew after suffering a "freak accident".

Bellew stopped compatriot Haye in the 11th round when they met in March and the soldout re-match was scheduled for Dec. 17. It will now be postponed until March or May.

Haye said he had suffered a bicep injury after falling while working out on the stairs. "I am devastated to announce my much-anticipated rematch against Tony Bellew has been postponed until March 24 or May 5, 2018, subject to scheduling," said Haye.

"After a freak accident during a stair conditioning session, which I've done with no incident hundreds of times, I lost my footing and slipped," Haye said in a statement.

"I instinctively grabbed the banister to stop myself toppling down the stairwell. In doing so I somehow managed to damage my biceps.

"I underwent a procedure to repair it; this was pretty straightforward and my doctor and physiotherapist have no doubt that not only will I make a full recovery but (I) will be able to be back in the gym to start my arm rehabilitation in two weeks," said the 37-year-old.

"I would like to apologize to Tony, his family and his training team, as well as all our fans who have been left disappointed," he added.

Following the news another British fighter, former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, said he would relish the chance to fight Bellew. Fury is hoping to return to the ring next year once a UK Anti-Doping hearing has been concluded.

Taiwanese AIBA head quits

after power struggle

The Taiwanese head of amateur boxing's governing body Wu Ching-Ko has resigned after a power struggle involving accusations of financial mismanagement.

A joint statement from the International boxing Association (AIBA) and Wu said: "After 11 years as AIBA president, Mr Wu has decided to step down from his position."

The statement said both parties had "amicably agreed to resolve the management issues within AIBA and to withdraw and terminate all related pending procedures before civil courts and AIBA Disciplinary Commission".

Wu said he had taken the decision to walk away "for the sport I love and have dedicated my life to".

He said he was acting "in the best interests of both AIBA and boxing" and said he was committed to "a smooth handover" to the new leadership.

Italy's Franco Falcinelli will remain interim president. Wu also resigned from the International Olympic Committee Executive Board, an IOC spokesperson told AFP.

In a bitter struggle within boxing, Wu's rivals said he had racked up debts worth 15 million Swiss francs ($15.1 million, 13.1 million euros).

But Wu had insisted the AIBA was financially healthy and accused his detractors of mounting "a military coup". — Agencies