British heavyweight Dillian Whyte has been forced to cancel his upcoming WBC title eliminator fight against Sweden's Otto Wallin after sustaining a shoulder injury in training.
Whyte was scheduled to put his WBC interim title on the line against Wallin on October 30 at the O2 Arena in London, but his promoter and event organiser Matchroom Sport announced his withdrawal, without saying whether the fight would be rescheduled.
"I am devastated as I had a great camp, was in great shape, and had great sparring," Whyte told Sky Sports. "I was looking forward to knocking Wallin out and would have done so in the first half of the fight.
"I am devastated about not being able to fight on October 30 but I want to thank everyone for all of their support."
The winner of the fight was in line to face WBC world champion Tyson Fury for his title as the mandatory challenger. Fury successfully defended his belt after stopping American Deontay Wilder in the 11th round of their thrilling trilogy fight in Las Vegas earlier this month.
It means Whyte's agonising wait for a world title shot goes on. The 33-year-old boxer had been the ranked No 1 by the WBC for more than 1,000 days but a chance to challenge then champion Wilder never materialised.
Whyte fought what was then expected to be a final eliminator against Russian Alexander Povetkin in August last year but was sensationally knocked out. He duly won the rematch seven months later with a fourth round knockout and the path was clear to finally face the WBC champion so long as he defeated Wallin.
With WBA, IBF and WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk scheduled to fight Anthony Joshua in a rematch next year, likely in the spring, an undisputed bout between title holders would not take place until at least the autumn of 2022.
It leaves Fury's next opponent up in the air until it becomes clear the extent of Whyte's injury and whether the fight against Wallin will be rescheduled.
“Dillian carried this injury for the last couple of weeks but it worsened in sparring on Monday night and it was impossible for him to continue,” promoter Eddie Hearn said. “It’s a huge shame because Dillian had a great camp before the injury and was ready to go.”