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British heavyweight star Anthony Joshua has apologised to fans after a back injury forced him to withdraw from his fight against Kevin Johnson on January 31 at the O2.
With a huge year ahead for the 25-year-old, he has opted to err on the side of caution after suffering a stress fracture in his lower back during training.
Having racked up 10 straight wins to start his professional career, all coming by way of knockout, Joshua will now undergo physical therapy to recover and he will be expected to be back in action on April 4 in Newcastle.
It is unclear as to whether Johnson (29-6-1, 14 KOs) will still be his opponent, but Joshua was undoubtedly disappointed to let the fans down and to see 2015 start off with a withdrawal.
“I trained so hard over Christmas and the press conference with Johnson was so lively that I was really looking forward to putting in a great performance,” Joshua said.
“It’s bad news for myself and for the fans that have bought tickets. I hope to be able to put on a fan zone at the weigh-in and the fight itself to meet the fans. I will be competing many times this year, but this injury is something that I need to get sorted as soon as possible.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn went on to add that Joshua hopes to resume punching by February and then come “back with a bang” in Newcastle in April.
— Anthony Joshua MBE (@anthonyfjoshua) January 12, 2015