Anthony Joshua has sore shoulder

Updated: December 9, 2013, 6:52 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Anthony Joshua, the 2012 super heavyweight Olympic gold medalist from England, has a sore shoulder, which has forced him to withdraw from a fight scheduled for Saturday night, Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn announced Monday.

Joshua was due to face Dorian Darch (7-2, 1 KO) at the Excel Arena in London, site of his Olympic triumph. Darch lasted the six-round distance with Hughie Fury, one of England's other top heavyweight prospects, on Sept. 29.

This is the second straight fight that Joshua has withdrawn from because of an injury. He was supposed to box on Nov. 23 on the undercard of the Carl Froch-George Groves super middleweight world title fight but pulled out the week of the bout because of a biceps strain.

The shoulder issue is not considered serious and Joshua will rest for the remainder of the year and is expected to fight again in early 2014.

Joshua (3-0, 3 KOs) turned pro on Oct. 5, fought again on Oct. 26 and scored his third knockout inside two rounds on Nov. 14, so he has been active since making his heavily publicized professional debut.

Hearn also announced that British super middleweight champion Paul Smith (33-3, 19 KOs), 31, has been added to the card, although his title won't be at stake. He will face an opponent to be determined. Smith won the vacant British crown by sixth-round knockout of Tony Dodson on June 29.

In the main fights on the card, British lightweight contender Kevin Mitchell (35-2, 25 KOs) faces Italy's Brunet Zamora (25-1-2, 11 KOs) and Leonard Bundu (29-0-2, 10 KOs) of Italy defends the European welterweight title against Lee Purdy (20-4-1, 13 KOs) of England.

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