Injured Liam Paro forced out of world title fight
Liam Paro's long wait for a world title shot will continue after he was forced out of a New Orleans showdown for the WBC's super lightweight belt by a bizarre injury.
The Queenslander was confident he could upset champion Regis Prograis in front of his home crowd on June 17.
But the 27-year-old never even got on the plane, unable to shake chronic tendonitis in both Achilles that has left him unable to spar or even run.
He was officially withdrawn on Friday, Arnold Barboza the man likely to step in instead.
Paro (23-0) hasn't fought since a clinical first-round defeat of Brock Jarvis in Brisbane last October, with his UK debut in March also scuppered by a facial fracture.
"Devastating," trainer Alfie Di Carlo told AAP.
"He's doing about as well as you would imagine ... seven years of hard work to get this chance and we're not able to take it.
"He was hobbling, couldn't really walk, couldn't run, couldn't spar.
"He tried his hardest, but at some point you have to make a decision."
The WBC shot came out of the blue after Prograis joined Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable and was immediately offered a defence against the Australian.
Di Carlo said Paro faces at least a six-week rest period before resuming training.
Beyond that his options are somewhat clouded, Paro recently dropping out of the IBF's top-15 where he was ranked fourth after accepting the WBC title chance.
Paro was also the WBO's No.1 contender in late 2021, but never formally recognised as the mandatory challenger.
He's now ranked third by that authority, with Di Carlo hopeful WBO and IBF world title shots are still realistic avenues once Paro is fit to return to the ring.