Stephen Simmons left gutted as title fight kayoed

Stephen Simmons. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Stephen Simmons. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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Stephen Simmons’ WBO Inter-Continental title clash with Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk next month has been cancelled after the Kiev native picked up an injury during training.

The fight was agreed by both parties just a matter of weeks ago but the Olympic champion has been forced to withdraw from the contest at the Sports Palace in Kiev on April 23 due to a knee injury.

This has come as a bitter blow to Edinburgh fighter Simmons who, had he overcome Usyk in his hometown, would have earned a shot against WBO world cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki of Poland.

“He’s seemingly stretched the ligaments in his knee when sparring so they reckon he’s going to be out for at least three weeks,” the 31-year-old explained. “I’m absolutely gutted.

“I think Usyk will just wait for his shot at the world title now which is really disappointing. The fight was only three weeks away so I’m hoping my manager can get me on Ricky Burns’ show in Glasgow in May.

“I need another big event because I need that motivation to keep me going. I’ll continue to train and hope I get something in due course.”