Harry Dhami's bid to regain the British Welterweight title and put his fourth and final notch on the coveted Lonsdale belt, has been shelved.... at least for the foreseeable future, and probably forever.

The 32-year-old from Gravesend had been set to fight Birmingham's Jimmy Vincent in Halifax on Friday week in a final eliminator for the British Welterweight crown, currently held by David Barnes who is fighting James Hare on the same bill.

However, Dhami pulled out of the challenge, citing "niggling injuries".

It is the latest blow to Dhami, whose original final eliminator against Vincent, back in April, was called off at the 11th hour when his rival broke a hand in training. At that time, Dhami said: "Three days before the fight I got a call from my manager Tommy Gilmour, who told me that Vincent had been injured.

"I have to admit that I was very downhearted. Weeks and weeks of dedicated training, preparing yourself to be in peak condition for the big night, had been for nothing.

"I was feeling in brilliant shape and looking forward eagerly to the fight.

"It's hard to take it when you get up at five in the morning, go and do a long shift at work and then head straight to the gym for training.

"You get home at nine at night and you're shattered. It's mentally demanding as much as physical, but there is nothing I can do but wait".

Comebacks in boxing are as legendary as Frank Sinatra's, but for Dhami it would have been the realisation of a dream, first visioned when he sat on his stool after losing his British title almost three years to the day to Neil Sinclair in Glasgow.

Dhami, the first-ever British boxing title-holder of Asian origin, had first claimed the title when he deposed champion Derek Roche, flooring him five times, in the spring of 2000.

Two successful defences followed in the next eight months, but Dhami had been cruelly denied his Lonsdale belt to keep when rules were changed to require three successful defences.

Out-of-ring problems then forced Dhami into temporary ring exile, but he returned last November after a two-year absence fresh as paint.

Under the new management of Glasgow-based Gilmour, Dhami beat Lee Armstrong on points.

It was to have been the launch-pad for, as Dhami put it: "My final bid for glory before I retire".

Gilmour said: "It's been a very frustrating time for Harry.

"He was in great shape, physically and mentally, when the original fight with Vincent was scheduled.

"Since then, Harry has also been bothered by several niggling injuries, which is common as boxers get older and they take longer to heal.

"He is such a genuine and exemplary sportsman that he did not want to fight Vincent in his current condition. He wanted to be at his best to do his best.

"Harry has become disillusioned, which is understandable given the circumstances.

"I have spoken to the British Boxing Board of Control advising them that Harry will not be fighting, although he reserves the right to return, if and when he feels the time is right.

"You could say Harry has gone into hibernation."

The question now is: will it be forever?

Harry Dhami fact file

October 1992: Makes professional debut with six-round points win against Johnny Pinnock.

November 1996: Wins Southern Area Welterweight crown a title he defends successfully on four occasions.

March 2000: Becomes first-ever British-born fighter of Asian descendants to win a UK title, when beating Derek Roche to take British Welterweight crown. Two successful defences follow later that year.

December 2000: Helps launch campaign to recruit more bone marrow donors from ethnic minorities in Gravesend.

January 2001: Is one of many residents who donate clothes or money to help survivors of an earthquake in India.

November 2001: Loses British title to Neil Sinclair.

December 2001: Offered £50,000 to win the Lonsdale belt and then sell it to a multi-millionaire Asian businessman.

November 2003: Returns from two-year exile to beat Lee Armstrong in non-title bout.

October 2004: Pulls out of final eliminator for British Welterweight title against Jimmy Vincent.