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Wladimir Klitschko withdraws from fight

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko pulled out of his fight against France's Jean-Marc Mormeck this weekend after two operations in two days to remove a kidney stone.

The fight had been scheduled for Saturday in Duesseldorf. Klitschko's manager, Bernd Boente, said Monday that March 3 was a possible new date. The IBF would have to approve because Klitschko would be requested to fight a mandatory challenger on that date.

"We hope to know in two or three days. Mormeck is also ready to accept it," Boente said, adding that Klitschko was "deeply disappointed" by having to call off the fight.

Klitschko, the WBO, IBF and WBA champ, had abdominal pain at his training camp in Austria on Friday. The 35-year-old Ukrainian was taken to Innsbruck for treatment before he was transferred to a Duesseldorf hospital. The stone was removed Saturday, but Klitschko returned to the hospital Sunday before a scheduled television appearance.

Older brother Vitali Klitschko, the WBC champion, appeared on the live program and said Wladimir became ill shortly before the show and returned to Duesseldorf University Hospital.

Dr. Peter Albers, the hospital's chief urologist, said Klitschko was doing well and did not have pain any longer.

"But he is very week after two surgeries and it makes no sense to have a fight now," Albers said.

The 39-year-old Mormeck is a former WBC and WBA unified cruiserweight champion. He has won all his fights since moving to the heavyweight division in 2009. He has a career record of 36 wins (22 KOs) and four defeats.

Saturday's fight was supposed to be Klitschko's 20th title bout and his first appearance since beating Britain's David Haye in July. His record is 56-3 with 49 KOs.