Dereck Chisora is on the hunt for a new rival after Andriy Rudenko was forced to pull out of their European heavyweight title clash, scheduled for Feb. 15, according to ESPN.
The Zimbabwe-born Londoner was slated to defend his EBU belt on the same night that Tyson Fury is set to fight on the undercard after coming out of his short-lived retirement.
Per ESPN, Rudenko suffered an Achilles tendon injury in training. It's now vital that Chisora find an alternative to the Ukrainian if the hopes of a Fury rematch are to be kept alive.
From the activity of Chisora's personal Twitter account, it seems clear that the defending champion is keen on reigniting the 2011 feud, Fury winning by unanimous decision on that occasion:
ESPN quotes BoxNation promoter Frank Warren saying a rematch is in the blueprint for 2014:
IT'S ON! Frank Warren says the Tyson Fury v Dereck Chisora rematch WILL happen this year: http://t.co/GdrUeCzmp5— ESPN.co.uk (@ESPNUK) January 9, 2014
And it's thanks largely to Warren that Fury has made the decision to end his boxing hiatus, per ESPN, with the Manchester native signing a deal with BoxNation in early January ahead of his Copperbox clash next month.
The 25-year-old's decision to leave the sport late last year came under odd circumstances, his record standing at 21-0—15 of those victories coming by knockout—and a promising future ahead of him.
Fury's opponent is yet to be announced for his return to the ring, so question marks now rest over the stars of both headliners for the event.
Who would triumph if Fury and Chisora were to meet in 2014?
Chisora's reputation is firmly back on the rise after the 30-year-old entered a period of profligacy several years ago.
The heavyweight was handed big opportunities against the likes of Fury, David Haye and Vitali Klitschko, but won just one of his five fights during 2011 and 2012, according to BoxRec.
Since then, Chisora has gone four fights unbeaten and holds the EBU heavyweight title, as well as the WBA and WBO international heavyweight belts.
Both mentioned fighters have developed controversial personas in their careers, and should they both win their February bouts, a hailstorm of smack-talk is sure to ensue leading up to any clash between the British duo.
However, with no opponent in sight following Rudenko's withdrawal, there remains a long road before fans are treated to any such extravaganza.