"It's a minor setback to a major comeback," said Hasim Rahman, the ex-heavyweight world champion from Baltimore.
Rahman (40-5-1, 33 knockouts) was referring to the news that World Boxing Council titlist Vitali Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs) had pulled a thigh muscle Friday, forcing the postponement of a bout between the two that had been scheduled for April 30 at Madison Square Garden.
The injury came just days after Rahman had agreed to the financial terms of their matchup with promoter Don King, and likely will move the bout back to June 18, an "almost definite date," according to a source.
Since a December 2003 loss to John Ruiz, the World Boxing Association champion, Rahman has earned four of his five straight wins by knockout, including a November fourth-round stoppage of Australia's Kali Meehan for which the 6-foot-3 Rahman weighed a svelte 232 pounds.
Meehan was Rahman's sixth fight in 11 months.
"I'm still keeping my weight under control, doing my running, strength training and conditioning," said Rahman, 32, whose trainer is Thell Torrence. "I'm working on my technique specifically for how I'm going to fight Klitschko.
"This is not disappointing to me. It's not like he's going to fight anyone else because I'm the mandatory [opponent]. And when the time comes, I'll be ready."