Haye devastated after postponing Bellew rematch following injury
David Haye has been forced to postpone his rematch with Tony Bellew after tearing his biceps during training.
The injury-prone heavyweight (37) has withdrawn from the match-up scheduled for December 17 at London's O2 Arena but is not considering retirement and hopes to instead fight his rival on March 24 or May 5.
"I am devastated to announce my much-anticipated rematch against Tony Bellew has been postponed until Match 24 or May 5, subject to scheduling," Haye said.
"Despite recent injury rumours, I was in perfect condition with an incredibly strong training camp, weighing lighter than I have for more than five years, I couldn't wait to get back in the ring. I was ready to rewrite the ending of the Haye-Bellew saga."
What Haye described as a "freak accident" occurred last Thursday, and led to a procedure yesterday afternoon that he insists has been successful.
"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," he said.
"I instinctively grabbed the banister to stop myself toppling down the stairwell, in doing so I somehow managed to damage my biceps in the process.
"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 will be able to be back in the gym to start my arm rehabilitation in two weeks.
"I would like to apologise to Tony, his family and his training team, as well as all our fans."
The injury is only the latest Haye has suffered. He fought on despite rupturing his Achilles during the dramatic defeat by Bellew in March.
Bellew (34) said: "I'm gutted the rematch has been postponed, both for myself but more for the fans. I've had a tough camp but was ready to repeat my win. I'll get over this disappointment over Christmas with my family."