Joe Joyce-Marco Huck heavyweight bout off due to injury

The heavyweight fight between Joe Joyce, the unbeaten contender on the rise, and former cruiserweight world titlist Marco Huck has been called off.

Joyce and Huck were due to fight on Jan. 11 in Hannover, Germany, in a crossroads fight for the vacant European heavyweight title. However Huck has announced that he suffered a right hand injury that has forced him to withdraw from the bout.

"During the sparring, unfortunately, I cracked my right metacarpal (bone)," Huck said in a statement. "If you do contact sports, unfortunately something like this can happen."

Germany's Huck, who had been training in Berlin, said X-rays confirmed that he broke his hand and that his doctor has advised him not to use it for four weeks. He added that his team is in contact with Joyce's team to talk about rescheduling the bout. Joyce was disappointed.

"Sorry to say Huck has pulled out of our fight on Jan. 11th. A real shame as I've been hard at work in camp with the European title in my sights," Joyce said. "I'll be sitting down with my team next week to assess my options."

Joyce (10-0, 9 KOs), 34, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist from England, and Huck were due to meet for the European title vacated by unbeaten Agit Kabayel.

Joyce is coming off a career-best win on July 13 in which he outpointed former world title challenger Bryant Jennings in London. Joyce defeated notable opponents in all three of his 2019 bouts: Jennings, Alexander Ustinov by third-round knockout and former world titlist Bermane Stiverne by sixth-round knockout.

After a 10th-round knockout loss to then-cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk in September 2017 in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series, Huck (41-5-1, 28 KOs), 35, moved up to heavyweight and is 1-0 with a no contest. During Huck's 2009 to 2015 cruiserweight world title reign he made 13 successful defenses to tie Johnny Nelson's record for most in division history.