LONDON (AFP) - David Haye has been forced to postpone his heavyweight clash with Tyson Fury owing to a deep cut in training, his promoters Hayemaker Boxing announced on Saturday.
Former WBA heavyweight champion Haye suffered the injury during a training camp sparring session ahead of the sell-out bout, which was due to take place at Manchester's MEN Arena on Sept 28.
The 32-year-old's cut above his left eyebrow needed six stitches, which will have to stay in place for up to a week, and he is awaiting further medical tests before setting a new date for the bout.
A statement from the promoters said: "Hayemaker Boxing regret to inform that David Haye has been forced to postpone his Sept 28 bout with Tyson Fury due to a deep cut suffered during the final spar of training camp.
"The cut above his left eyebrow occurred in round two of sparring on Friday night (Sept 19) and required six stitches by a plastic surgeon at St Thomas' hospital. Because of the gravity of the cut, these stitches will now remain in place for five to seven days.
"Unfortunately, after being properly assessed, Haye was left with no choice but to postpone his fight with Fury, scheduled for next Saturday night in Manchester. He is currently waiting on further medical assessment to determine the extent of the postponement."
Haye said he was devastated to have to pull out just a week before the fight.
"Gutted isn't even the word," he said. "Mentally, I'm on the floor at the moment. I'm devastated most of all for my loyal fans, my family and my team, as well as Tyson Fury and his team.
"I know injuries and cuts are part and parcel of our sport but this doesn't change the feeling of disappointment and sadness I'm experiencing right now.
"To everyone who has bought tickets, booked hotels and followed this fight since it was announced, there is absolutely nothing I can do except apologise from the very bottom of my heart.
"Even when everything seems to be right on track, sometimes life throws you a curveball. I will somehow have to try and make the best of this horrible situation. But, right now, I'm in bits about what has happened."
Fury expressed his disappointment at Haye's withdrawal on Twitter and cast doubt on the chances of the bout being rearranged.
"Sorry for everyone who bought tickets and hotels," he said. "Haye excuses r boring. He don't want to fight me!"