BOXER Lee Appleyard says he is "gutted" at having to pull out of his first bout in 15 months after contracting Covid-19.
The Bramley fighter's clash with top Sheffield prospect Dalton Smith on the undercard of the Josh Warrington-Mauricio Lara Sky Sports bill at Wembley Arena on February 13 represented a great opportunity, with a move to Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable a potential prize.
But Appleyard, his wife, and trainer Stefy Bull have all tested positive for coronavirus, scuppering the fight for now.
"My opportunity finally came after a year of waiting and now I get hit with Covid," tweeted the 33-year-old.
"I have to be one of the unluckiest fighters going because a year ago the pandemic put paid to my last fight with only three days to go."
Now recovering from the virus, Appleyard will be free to return to training this week and it is hoped the super lightweight clash with Smith can be re-scheduled for April or May.
Hearn has told Appleyard to stay ready.
More on this in Thursday's Advertiser.