Following the cancellation of his controversial November 23 ring return against Sakio Bika, Nigel Benn has apologised to his ‘loyal fans’. Benn – who was hoping to seek closure with one final bout at 55 years of age – was forced to withdraw after sustaining a shoulder injury in training camp. The British icon also admitted that it is unlikely he will return to the ring at a later date. Benn’s team issued the following statement on behalf of ‘The Dark Destroyer’:

“After sustaining a shoulder injury in training yesterday (28 October 2019) afternoon, Nigel Benn regrets to inform his fans and supporters that will not be fit to box on November 23rd. Father time has NOT caught up with him at all, as his preparation and sparring had actually progressed better than expected at this stage of his preparation.

“Nigel had several anti-inflammatory injections, primarily into one shoulder joint last week, but this treatment has failed in its efforts to reduce the acute pain that is significantly affecting his punching power and full movement on one side.  

“He is devastated at this setback. Years of organisation has gone into this event, and many people (aside from himself) will be affected by his inability to fight.

“This setback will likely mean that he will never get the closure he sought. In his own words, “I hope my fans will respect that I have no say in this decision. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may cause to my loyal fans who have bought tickets, The British and Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) for sanctioning me, undercard fighters, the venue, suppliers and anyone else who is affected by my announcement. God bless you all.” 

“The venue (Resorts World Arena) and the 2 appointed ticket agencies – The Ticket Factory and Eventim are currently in dialogue with the head of BIBA (Gianluca Di Caro), in an effort to rescue the event, given 10 fights are still arranged. However, refunds for ticket holders are available from the respective agents upon request.”