WORLD title hopeful Bradley Saunders is to take a breather and resume his assault on the top of the light-welterweight division next season.
Saunders, who won the WBO inter-continental title last month with a breathtaking first-round KO win over Ville Piispanen in Newcastle, had been lined up to box on the undercard of the Tyson Fury v Dereck Chisora grudge match in Manchester.
Chisora pulled out of the anticipated heavyweight eliminator with a fractured hand at the Phones4U Arena, though the show goes on.
But it will go on without Saunders, who has withdrawn with a shoulder problem.
The 28-year-old had been scheduled to fight Christopher Sebire, a top-rated Frenchman who has won 23 of 27 contests.
However, Saunders has been plagued by a troublesome shoulder injury and doctors have urged rest as the best cure.
The unbeaten Sedgefield boxer is in the mix in the World Boxing Organisation after his lightning -quick demolition of Piispanen and with the backing of manager and promoter Frank Warren he looks set for a title shot over the next 12 months.
So rather than take any risks with his body, he will follow medical orders and sit out tonight’s show.
Fury was still due to fight, organising Belarus heavyweight Alexander Ustinov to come in for a battle of the giants – the Manchester fighter standing 6ft 8in with Ustinov just one inch shorter.
But Fury has now fulled out after his uncle, Hughie Fury, was taken into hospital.
A statement from Queensberry Promotions read: “Tyson Fury has withdrawn from his heavyweight contest tonight against Alexander Ustinov after his uncle and first trainer, Hughie, has been taken seriously ill into hospital.
“Tyson’s uncle and trainer Peter took the decision to pull him out of the fight rather than risk his health by sending him into the ring with his mind not focused.”