An injury to Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53KOs) has curtailed any talk of a world heavyweight title fight between the Ukrainian great and IBF strap-holder Anthony Joshua (17-0, 17KOs).

December 10, at the Manchester Arena, had been earmarked for a potential bout between Joshua and Klitschko for the IBF and WBA titles that the latter lost to Tyson Fury last year.

Fury was stripped of his IBF belt over a none-defence but vacated the other titles he won from Klitschko as he focuses on treatment and recovery after admitting using cocaine to battle depression this year.

Joshua will regardless defend his belt at the Manchester Arena, but his promoter Eddie Hearn says any fight with Klitschko deserves a billing bigger than it can realistically receive roughly six weeks out from fight night.

He is now targeting the fight for next spring. The World Boxing Association has yet to make a ruling on whether or not they intend to approve Joshua-Klitschko for the vacant WBA title. There is also the issue with Lucas Browne having a legal claim to fight for the title next.

Hearn wants to stage the fight on a date in March or April, and is currently in talks with Millennium Stadium [now the Principality Stadium] to stage the event. If a deal comes together, Showtime is expected to televise in the United States and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK, with RLT handling Germany.

"While waiting on the WBA and with Klitschko's injury, it was a non-starter," said Hearn. "Let's get this over the line for March or April."

He added: "We will announce that fight for the spring and give it the build-up it deserves - probably take it to a stadium as well. I'm certain it will happen in the spring.

"We are in talks with the Millennium Stadium about their dates in March and April - it has a roof and it can be a bit nippy in London in March or April."