BOURNEMOUTH boxer Jake Best was left "devastated" after his hotly anticipated ring return was cancelled at the 11th hour.

The 32-year-old had been due to feature on a bill at the town's Hilton Hotel tonight.

But organisers Assassin Promotions pulled the plug with the show poised to make a loss – leaving Best to wait another fortnight for the third bout of his professional career.

He told the Daily Echo: "My contract with Assassin stipulates that I do not have to sell tickets when I box on their shows.

"But the other home fighters have to sell tickets to cover the cost of the event and make the company money.

"Assassin was expecting to bring in a minimum of £16,000. I actually sold four grand's worth of tickets but the other home boxers only made £3,000 between them.

"I understand the business aspect of the decision but as a boxer it is absolutely devastating."

Best, who has won both his previous professional fights, had trained through illness during the past couple of weeks, so determined was he to fulfill his commitments this weekend.

Nevertheless, his sights are now set on Bournemouth's O2 Academy in a fortnight, when he will box on a card headlined by another homegrown star, fellow light middleweight Joe Hayes.

"I would never, ever pull out of a fight," continued Best. "To push myself through that then find out that the show had been cancelled was so disappointing.

"At start of this week I sparred four rounds with Joe Hayes. I did well and my trainer Steve Bendall was happy for me to fight.

"But now I have had to kick straight back into training twice a day and hit the diet hard. Next week will be intense and I will doing some hard sparring."