British boxer Hughie Fury is "devastated" an injury has forced him to pull out of his mandatory challenge against New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker, a statement released by his promoter says.
Parker, 25, was set to defend his WBO world heavyweight title for the first time against Fury at Auckland's Spark Arena (formerly Vector Arena), on 6 May.
Last night Parker's promoter, Duco's David Higgins, confirmed the fight was off and the president of the WBO tweeted "As of today, it seems there will be no WBO Heavyweight World Title Fight in New Zealand."
The statement from Fury's team said it was with deep regret that they had to announce that the fight had been postponed.
"Hughie has been declared medically unfit to box following a medical assessment. He has suffered an injury to his lower back which has been a serious issue for the last three weeks that has left him unable to train to his full capacity.
"Despite receiving intense physiotherapy treatment and his desire to fight for the WBO World title, after seeing his physiotherapist last Friday he has been advised to rest for 3-4 weeks before resuming training.
"Understandably, Hughie is devastated by the injury which has temporarily halted his dream of fighting for the World Heavyweight Title, but the fight will be rescheduled and a new date will be announced shortly."
The statement said Hughie and Team Fury wished to express their sincerest apologies to Joseph Parker, the WBO, the fans and public in New Zealand who had been looking forward to the highly anticipated fight.
Last night, David Higgins was fuming that Fury had pulled out of the fight and doubted the injury was legitimate.
"Since day one they didn't want to come to New Zealand.
"They fought the original negotiations then had to go to a purse bid and we won it and then elected to have the fight in New Zealand and then there were more fights over the contract negotiations. I just don't think they wanted to come here. We must remember there's probably a one in a billion chance there is an injury," Higgins said.
Higgins said his team were trying to find a new opponent for Parker on 6 May.
Fury is the cousin of troubled former undisputed heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, who was stripped of his titles last year after he cancelled a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, as well as anti-doping allegations.