ANDY Lee's weekend fight has been cancelled at the 11th hour.
The Castleconnell 26 year old was due to fight on Saturday's undercard of Waldimir Klitschko and Derek Chisora heavyweight world title fight at the SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany.
But this Wednesday night, Klitschko was forced to pull out of the event due to injury.
Klitschko's cancellation of the December 11 bout means that the entire undercard is also cancelled along with the headline event.
Klitschko, who had sparred with Lee in an Austrian training camp, sustained a two inch tear of his left abdominal muscle which was diagnosed by a CT scan at a local hospital in Mannheim, Germany.
The injury was bad enough that Wladimir will need at least six weeks for it to heal.
"Wladimir has never had to cancel a fight before. He is totally upset.
"He had a great training camp in the Austrian mountains.
"He was in fantastic shape and he's very, very upset and very sad. And not only for him but for all the people who bought tickets to the sold-out arena.
"We were all looking forward to the fight. We are sorry for the fans and for our TV partners. What can you do?," explained manager Bernd Boente of K2 Promotions.
"He was hitting the mitts and it just happened," said Boente.
"The fight is cancelled. The pain is extreme. He couldn't even sit in the car on the way to the hospital."
Middleweight Lee was due to face Poland's Daniel Urbanski on Saturday.
The 26-year old Urbanski won his last seven contests and has 27 fights under his belt.
Lee is currently ranked number nine in the WBA world rankings and now the former St. Francis Boxing Club Olympian must plan for the New Year.
Lee could be set for a rematch against Brian Vera, who inflicted the Limerickman's only defeat in his 25-bout professional boxing career back in March 2008, but the Limerick middleweight has regrouped to win nine successive fights since that shock reversal.
Other options could see him face Sergio Martinez, Miguel Cotto or even Julio Cesar Chavez Jr as he bids to fast track his career towards a world title shot.
His manager Emanuel Steward remains confident that the Limerick middleweight can be a world champion.
Lee will be five years in the pro-boxing ranks next March."I believe Andy is not just the best Irish middleweight in the world today, but also the most talented contender emerging and moving up the world rankings.
"The middleweight division is wide open at this time and Andy is in pole position to capitalize on this situation in 2011," said Emanuel Steward of Andy Lee.
"It is also is part of my management strategy to have Andy box on both sides of the Atlantic to reach out to his fan base and have his fights televised by different tv networks," said Steward.