Santos pulls out, Barrera not getting interim title fight

Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com is reporting that the previously accepted Daniel Santos-Sergio Martinez fight, to be televised on HBO on Feb. 14, is off after the Santos camp has withdrawn. But don't blame Santos.

True, Santos is the one that pulled out of the fight, but he's also angry with promoter Don King for accepting without his approval. The WBA junior middleweight titlist says he's still much too overweight to make the 154-pound limit by February 14.

With Santos out, that makes two opponents to leave Sergio Martinez hanging in the last week or so. "Mean" Joe Greene pulled out of a Jan. 17 fight with Martinez due to kidney stones. Martinez's manager, Sampson Lewkowicz, is looking to find a suitable replacement that HBO will accept, and he has until Jan. 14. If he cannot find an HBO-approved opponent in the next two days, he says he will petition the WBC to order an immediate purse bid in regard to Martinez's mandatory status as WBC titleholder Vernon Forrest's next challenger.

Reeno also reports that the WBO has declined to put an interim lightweight title up in the fight between Marco Antonio Barrera and Johnny Nolasco, which is a relief to me and I'm sure to others. The two will still fight on Jan. 31 in Guadalajara, and Barrera will still wait in line (should he win, and if he doesn't, he better retire) for the Campbell-Funeka winner on Feb. 14.

UPDATE: Santos says he'd like to fight Martinez in March. Santos may be completely ignoring the fact that HBO probably doesn't have a TV slot open in March for a Santos-Martinez fight.

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