Wladimir Klitschko is on the shelf with an injury. | Photo: Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty
Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has suffered a torn left biceps, forcing him to pull out of a Sept. 6 title defense against Kubrat Pulev in Hamburg, Germany.
"I am very disappointed that the fight cannot take place as planned. I am in absolute top form and had a great training camp,” Klitschko said in a statement. “Of course, I'm sorry for the fans, but also for my opponent Kubrat Pulev, who was certainly training as intensely as I do."
The injury occurred during a sparring session on Friday. Klitschko will have to wait approximately four weeks before he can resume training. Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, told ESPN.com that the fight will likely be rebooked for November and will remain at the originally scheduled venue -- the O2 World Arena in Hamburg.
The 38-year-old Klitschko, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight crowns, is 62-3 with 53 KOs during his professional career. He currently has 16 consecutive title defenses during a reign that has lasted more than eight years; the figure is third most all-time behind only Joe Louis (25) and Larry Holmes (20). The Ukrainian last fought on April 26, scoring a fifth-round technical knockout over Alex Leapai in Oberhausen, Germany.
Pulev, meanwhile, is 20-0 with 11 KOs. The 33-year-old Bulgarian earned his title shot with a unanimous verdict over Tony Thompson last year. Since then, the man known as “The Cobra” has garnered knockout triumphs against Joey Abell and Ivica Perkovic.
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