Klitschko tears adbominal muscle, pulls out of Saturday title defense

The heavyweight title fight between IBF, WBO and Ring magazine champion Wladimir Klitschko and British Commonwealth champion Dereck Chisora has been canceled after Klitschko tore his abdominal muscle during a workout Wednesday afternoon, Klitschko's manager, Bernd Boente, told SI.com.

The 34-year-old Klitschko had been a prohibitive favorite to retain his titles Saturday against the 26-year-old London native at the SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany. Reports indicate there have been talks to reschedule the fight.

"The abdominal muscle is injured and therefore Wladimir Klitschko will not be able to fight on Saturday," said Dr. Sven Roessing, orthopedic specialist at the University Medical Center of Mannheim.

The injury is expected to sideline Klitschko four to six weeks.

It is the first time in Klitschko's professional career that he's withdrawn from a fight due to injury.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.