07.06.04 - JOE CALZAGHE has been forced to withdraw from his IBF World Light-Heavyweight title challenge against GLEN JOHNSON next Saturday (12 June) at the M.E.N Arena due to a serious back injury. The undefeated Welshman, who was stepping up to 175lb for the first time after reigning as WBO World Super-Middleweight Champion for nearly seven years, sustained the injury in a sparring session last week whilst in final preparations for the Johnson showdown. Since then, Calzaghe has been receiving physiotherapy treatment in London which he has not responded to and the decision was made for him to withdraw.
Promoter Frank Warren is now aiming to reschedule the Calzaghe-Johnson fight for July.
Calzaghe was due to joint-headline the show with WBU World Light-Welterweight Champion RICKY HATTON who defends his title against the Argentinian CARLOS VILCHES.
Hatton's fight will now become the main event and Warren is currently looking to add another title fight to the show which will be announced shortly.
Joe's personal life has come under a lot of speculation recently but Warren is keen to stress that this has had not influenced the decision of his withdrawal.
Warren said, "I am very disappointed by the turn of events as Joe's fight against Johnson was the one that myself and the fans were really looking forward to. Due to the severity of the injury and despite undergoing intensive physiotherapy treatment he is still in great pain. Therefore, there was no way he could get in the ring with Johnson who is a great champion and is expected to give Joe the toughest test of his career. I am currently negotiating with Johnson's promoter Dan Goossen to reschedule the fight and am looking a July date for it to take place."