Former world heavyweight boxing champion Joseph Parker has been ruled out of his fight with Zimbabwe-born Dereck Chisora because of illness, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
The heavyweight clash was due to take place on the Regis Prograis-Josh Taylor bill at The O2 on October 26, but promoter Hearn confirmed that Parker had withdrawn from the fight, with reports in New Zealand suggesting he sustained a spider bite.
A “suitable replacement” is being sought to keep Chisora in action on the event, which also features Lawrence Okolie’s European title fight and a domestic clash between Ricky Burns and Lee Selby.
Hearn tweeted: “Due to illness, @joeboxerparker is out of the @DerekWarChisora fight on October 26.
“We are working on a suitable replacement and will make a further announcement this week.”
A statement released by Team Parker revealed the heavyweight had been “unable to train and fight” due to a “health issue”, but he intends to face Chisora in a rescheduled bout once he has fully recovered from illness.
“Joseph Parker has been battling a health issue at his Vegas training camp ahead of his 26 October fight,” the statement read.
“Following detailed medical assessment, doctors have confirmed that Joseph Parker is not physically able to train or fight until medical clearance is given. A doctors’ certificate has been provided to Joseph Parker’s promoters Matchroom as this health issue will mean that Joseph Parker must withdraw from his scheduled fight against Derek Chisora on 26 October.
“The fight against Derek Chisora continues to be one that Joseph Parker and his team want. Once medical clearance is given, Team Parker wants to have the fight promptly rescheduled.”
Chisora (35) was unhappy the fight at London’s 02 Arena was only support to the Josh Taylor-Regis Prograis world super-lightweight unification bout.
The London-based fighter — who has won 31 of his 40 fights — delivered an expletive-laden rant at a news conference last month.
Parker lost the WBO world heavyweight title to Anthony Joshua in 2018.
He responded to defeats by Joshua and Britain’s Dillian Whyte by reeling off two wins most recently against Alex Leapai in June. — BBC Sport.