Masibulele Makepula's camp has again been struck by tragedy just days before his career- defining clash against Jorge Arce in America on Saturday.

This happened when Makepula's promoter Branco Milenkovic aggravated an injury he suffered from a car accident he suffered in December last year and could not travel to America for the fight.

Makepula and Arce will collide at Dodge Arena in Hidalgo, Texas, in eagerly anticipated WBC International junior bantamweight title.

The fight promoted by Bob Arum will be screened live by HBO.

The fight is rated among the biggest involving a South African fighter due to Arce's reputation.

Milenkovic aggravated the injury when he had already made travelling arrangements.

"I had already paid my flight tickets and had made all the arrangement to leave to America when suddenly I could not move," Milenkovic said on Wednesday.

"Right now I am confined in bed, unable to move. I have already informed Bob (Arum) and Makepula that I will not be coming to the fight."

It is the third time tragedy has struck Makepula's camp before a big fight.

In June Makepula lost his father Phakamile Makepula just before an IBF title eliminator against Russian fighter Dimitry Kirilov.

He asked for a postponement while making funeral arrangements.

The fight was eventually called off but Milenkovic was able to negotiate a bigger fight against Arce.

Again bad luck struck when Makepula's stablemate and close friend Gabula Vabaza failed a medical test just hours before his IBF junior featherweight title clash against Steve Molitor early this month.

Speaking from Texas, Makepula said Milenkovic's absence at the fight was a big disappointment.

"Branco picked me up when everybody had written me off after my defeat by Mzukisi Sikali," he said.

Arce, a two time WBC flyweight champion last lost a fight in 1999 in only his third defeat in 48 fights.

Now 27-year-old, Arce has been fighting since he was 17 years. He will enter the fight as the favourite. - Sapa