The heavyweight debut of cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk will have to wait.
Usyk, the consensus 2018 fighter of the year, suffered a torn right biceps on Monday during a training session, forcing him to withdraw from his first fight at heavyweight, manager Egis Klimas told ESPN on Tuesday.
Usyk was scheduled to face former world title challenger Carlos Takam on May 25 in the main event of a DAZN-streamed card at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
With Usyk out, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn told ESPN that he hopes to still go forward with the show but might try to move it to Las Vegas, the hometown of 20-year-old blue-chip lightweight prospect Devin Haney (21-0, 13 KOs). Haney recently signed with Hearn and was scheduled to fight Antonio Moran (24-3, 17 KOs), 26, of Mexico, on the Usyk-Takam undercard.
"We're still working on what will happen with the show but we still want Devin Haney and the rest of the fighters on the card to fight," Hearn said.
Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs), 32, a southpaw and 2012 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist from Ukraine, became the first cruiserweight to unify the division in the four-belt era by winning the World Boxing Super Series tournament in July when he outpointed Murat Gassiev with ease to take his two belts. Usyk followed with a November defense of all four belts by knocking out former titlist Tony Bellew in the eighth round and then decided to follow through on the plan he has had since he turned to pro -- to move up to heavyweight and go after the titles there also.
His first step in the new division was to be a 12-round bout with the dangerous Takam (36-5-1, 28 KOs), 38, a Cameroon native based in France, who had faced top heavyweights such as former titleholders Alexander Povetkin and Joseph Parker, as well as Dereck Chisora, and given them all tough fights in defeats. He also challenged Anthony Joshua for his belts in October 2017 and got knocked out in the 10th round.
But the injury will sideline Usyk for the time being.
"It's been two months of hard work and preparation for this fight every day," Klimas said. "We had two more weeks to the fight, but he suffered the injury. Of course, everybody is very disappointed, especially Usyk.
"He will probably be out for one month. The doctor told him he can't do anything with the arm for one month. Then maybe another month or two of recovery and hopefully he can come back to fight sometime in September."