AN INJURY to his left shoulder during sparring has left Isaac Chilemba without a crown.
The World Boxing Council (WBC) stripped its international light heavyweight champion of his title because he could not defend it by the scheduled deadline. He was set to defend the belt in London this weekend.
But the WBC announced: "Isaac will be the first in line to challenge for the title again, if he is given the all clear by his doctors and his commission."
Chilemba's manager, Jodi Solomon, described the injury as a disappointment. She said her charge lost his crown because they could not give the WBC an assurance on how long it would take for the injury to heal.
"His doctor said it could take a month or two," she said yesterday.
Chilemba said he was battling to throw even a jab, but he promised to bounce back around June to regain his title.
The Malawian's trainer, Elias Tshabalala, is not perturbed.
"Isaac is still very young, at 20. He has all the time to bounce back," said the Gauteng mentor who is yet to man Chilemba's corner. They joined forces early this year after Chilemba left Colin Nathan.