BRITAIN's former heavyweight world champion David Haye has been forced to pull out of his rematch next month with Tony Bellew after a "freak accident" in training.
Bellew, the WBC cruiserweight world champion, stopped compatriot Haye in the 11th round when they met in March and the sold-out rematch was scheduled for December 17.
It will now be postponed until March 24 or May 5.
Haye said he had suffered a bicep injury after falling while working out on the stairs.
"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," Haye said.
"I instinctively grabbed the banister to stop myself toppling down the stairwell. In doing so I somehow managed to damage my biceps.
"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 (I) 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 who have been left disappointed."
Another British fighter, former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, said he would relish the chance to fight Bellew.
Fury is hoping to return to the ring next year after a UK anti-doping hearing.