LONDON (AP) — A shoulder injury has ended the comeback attempt by 55-year-old former boxing champion Nigel Benn.
Benn scheduled his first professional fight since 1996 for Nov. 23 in Birmingham, but hurt his shoulder in training on Monday. He received anti-inflammatory injections in the shoulder last week but they were already failing to reduce acute pain which was affecting his punching power and movement.
He agreed on Tuesday he wasn’t fit to face 40-year-old Sakio Bika next month in what was planned as a one-off fight to give him “closure” on a career blighted by drug abuse, depression, and the death of his brother.
“I hope my fans will respect that I have no say in this decision,” Benn said in a statement.
Benn claimed the WBO middleweight title in 1990, and held the WBC super-middleweight title from 1992-96.
Bika was a former WBC super-middleweight champion.
Their bout was licensed by the British and Irish Boxing Authority, rather than the British Boxing Board of Control, and organizers were scrambling to rescue the event which has 10 other fights on the card.
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