Tyrone McKenna says he is 'gutted' after his chance to fight as the main back-up to Carl Frampton's history-making quest in Dubai tonight was scupperred.
'The Mighty Celt' was due to challenge Zhankosh Turarov for his WBO intercontinental light-welterweight title but the Khazakhstan champ has withdrawn.
The news was confirmed early on Saturday morning (UK time) with the fight having been scheduled for 9pm (UK time), directly before Frampton fights Jamel Herring in Dubai.
There had been an issue during yesterday's weigh-in when McKenna comfortably made the 140lb limit with Turarov nowhere to be seen. Instead, he was off sweating out the final ounces that took time right up to the two-hour time limit when he hit the target.
The reasons for his withdrawal are as yet unclear.
The fight will now be rescheduled 'as soon as possible', D4G Boxing Promotions confirmed.
McKenna tweeted just one word - 'gutted' - in response.
He had been hoping to bounce back after he lost out by way of a razor-thin points decision to Ohara Davies in their Golden Contract grudge match last time out.
The 31-year-old Belfast boxer was jumping back in at the deep end against a boxer with a perfect record of 24 wins from 24 professional fights, including 17 knock-outs.
"I'm ready for war and for anything Turarov brings," he had declared. "I have heard a lot of people say that this is a risky fight for me to take, but I want to change people's thinking that you shouldn't be scared to take these fights. Risk creates reward."
At Thursday's final press conference, Turarov was dismissive of McKenna, saying: "People may say that he is taller and a southpaw, but I train with southpaw boxers all the time so it will not be too difficult. It will just be a win."