JAMES DeGale's dream 'homecoming' fight in London has been dashed because bill-topping Amir Khan's opponent has toothache.
The Dale Youth Olympic middleweight champion was due to fight on the under-card of Khan's first world title fight at the O2 Arena on June 27, but now the show has been delayed for three weeks to allow Khan's opponent, Andreas Kotelnik, time to recover from a tooth infection.
And with the 02 Arena unavailable for the rescheduled bill on July 18, DeGale's army of fans, friends and family, will have to travel to see him try and maintain his undefeated professional record at Manchester's MEN Arena.
The 23-year-old Hammersmith-born star was champing at the bit to perform in his own backyard for the first time since clinching gold in Beijing, but now he will be raring to put on a show for Manchester's legion of boxing fans, who are notorious for their loyal and vociferous support.
After a shaky pro debut victory over tough Georgian Vepkhia Tchilaia in February, DeGale showed what he is all about in the first round destruction of Jindrich Kubin in Belfast last month.