Mikkel Kessler has been forced to delay his comeback after contracting Lyme Borreliosis - a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks.
The former five-time World Champion had announced his plans to come out of retirement earlier this year and was expected to make his long awaited return to the ring in November.
However, the Danish boxing icon was struck down by a mystery illness whilst in training camp, and was later admitted to hospital where following multiple tests it was revealed that he had Lyme Borreliosis.
Kessler has since been released from hospital and is currently completing a course of antibiotics. The 38 year-old is close to making a full recovery, but still suffering from symptoms including fatigue, he is yet to resume training.
“I started to feel ill around 4 weeks ago. I was tired, my muscles were aching and I was unable to train,” reveals Kessler. “At that point, I still had no idea what was causing it. I had blood tests, which showed nothing, and it wasn’t until I had a spinal fluid test that the doctors were able to identify the problem.
“I’m not sure exactly when or where I was bitten by the tick, but I’m just thankful the bacteria was caught early and hopefully there will be no long lasting effects.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed to have to delay my comeback. I want to thank my fans for their support and patience. I hope to be ready to return to the ring early next year, and I promise to repay their support with a great victory!”
“I’ve had fighters suffering from many different injuries and illnesses in the past but this is a first for me,” said promoter Kalle Sauerland.
“I know Mikkel is bitterly disappointed, but his health must come first. We are now set for March and will announce venue and opponent in the coming weeks. It will take more than a tick to stop The Viking Warrior!”