Boxing world title hopeful Anthony Crolla is in hospital after a "sickening" attack by burglars who smashed him over the head with a concrete slab.
The 28-year-old fighter (inset) has a possible fractured skull and a broken right foot after he was attacked by two people he was chasing away from his neighbour's home, according to his trainer, Joe Gallagher.
"Gutted to confirm that @ant_crolla is in hospital with a head and ankle injury after confronting burglars at/near his property," tweeted sports promoter Eddie Hearn.
Crolla, who is from Manchester and known as Million Dollar, has fought in the super featherweight and lightweight divisions and is the current holder of the WBO intercontinental lightweight title after beating Gavin Rees.
He was due to face Richar Abril, from Cuba, for the WBA world lightweight title in Manchester on January 23, but Mr Hearn tweeted that the fight was off.
"Anthony is in a stable condition in Oldham Hospital. Unfortunately, the Jan 23rd fight is off but concerns right now are with Ant and family," he said.
"You ask anyone in boxing, doubt you could find a nicer kid than Crolla, absolutely gutted for him."
Crolla was said to be conscious, with his girlfriend and one-year-old son at his bedside.
Trainer Mr Gallagher said his charge was "heartbroken" at having lost his chance at the world title.
"I've spoken to him and he's heartbroken. All he was thinking about was protecting his neighbour's property and now his world title dream is over," he said.