Former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye has pulled out of his proposed 29 June bout with Manuel Charr due to a hand injury sustained in training.
The Briton had hoped a strong showing against Lebanon-born German Charr, 28, would help set up a
world title fight with one of the Klitschko brothers.
David Haye's career
Loses to Cuban Odlanier Solis in the final of the World Amateur Championships in Belfast
Wins first fight as a professional against Tony Booth
Loses for the first time against former WBO champion Carl Thompson
Beats Alexander Gurov for EBU cruiserweight belt
Wins WBC cruiserweight title against Jean-Marc Mormeck
Wins WBO title against Enzo Maccarinelli and announces he is moving up to heavyweight
Beats WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev on points
Defends title against American John Ruiz in April
Loses to Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg in July
Retires on his 31st birthday in October
Brawls with Dereck Chisora in Munich media conference in February
Knocks out Chisora in east London bout in July
It is not yet clear whether the fight, which was scheduled for the Manchester Arena, will be rearranged.
"I'm absolutely gutted to have to pull out of this fight," said Haye, 32.
"I need to rest it up for at least four weeks. I pick up injuries now and again in training, and sometimes carry them into fights, but this was one I simply couldn't recover from in time.
"I apologise to Manuel Charr and to everybody involved with the promotion. But most of all I want to say sorry to the thousands of fans who bought tickets to the fight. I felt it was important to let them know about the cancellation as soon as possible, so they can now make other plans.
"As soon as I am told I can resume full training, my loyal fans will be the first to know."
Haye, who has injured his left hand, has not fought since
beating Dereck Chisora
announced his retirement
in October 2011 several months after losing his WBA belt when he was
outpointed by Ukrainian Wladimir Klitscho
in Germany, and subsequently retired from the sport.
Haye reversed that decision to fight Chisora before
revealing in March
that he would fight again.
He previously won the WBA belt by beating giant Russian Nikolay Valuev on points in Germany in November 2009.