It would have been an important and highly significant step in the careers of both young and unbeaten heavyweights, and Tyson Fury-Denis Boytsov would have been an official WBC elimination bout.

However, the intriguing match-up, set for Belfast, Northern Ireland on December 1st, is off; for the time being at least.

Upon e-mailing Universum’s Steffen Soltau, in request of an interview with 26-year-old Boytsov, 31-0(25), I was sent the following reply “The battle between the British Tyson Fury and the unbeaten Denis Boytsov will not take place. The CEO of Universum is really disappointed: ‘It’s really a shame because it would have been a great fight. Two undefeated heavyweight hopes in a direct duel. Unfortunately, Denis is not in the shape to contest such a duel now. The bout could be placed in 2013.’ The CEO would necessarily realize the bout, but of course, he has to act in the interests of the athlete and pay attention to his situation. Therefore the bout is off.”

24-year-old Fury, 19-0(14) is sure to be disappointed, even angry at this news. Looking forward to the fight, a real opportunity to “leapfrog” a number of other heavyweight contenders to a shot at WBC ruler Vitali Klitschko (or fight the next available contender should Vitali retire thus vacating his crown) Fury and his team must now go right back to the drawing board as they search for a suitable opponent. And with Dec. 1st just 26-days from now, there isn’t too much time.

It’s curious that Boytsov is “not in shape.” At his young age, shouldn’t Boytsov who, reports indicated recently, has been upset with Universum’s inability to get him the big fights, be living the life and therefore in good shape at all times? It is to be hoped Boytsov’s old hand injury – the one that prevented him from taking part in that 2010-planned IBF four-man tournament – has not resurfaced. Inactive since April of this year and having boxed just one other time since September of 2011, Boytsov can ill afford any more career-slowing developments.

Fury, last seen taking out New York veteran Vinny Maddalone in July, is unlikely to find a better or more marketable foe for December. Hopefully this fight, a genuine test for both unbeaten warriors, will indeed go ahead early next year.