Zsolt Erdei might be out of his December 31 fight with Tavoris Cloud. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
BoxingScene.com reports this evening that veteran light heavyweight Zsolt Erdei could pull out of his December 31 fight on Showtime against titleholder Tavoris Cloud with a hand injury suffered in training.
A source with knowledge of the situation told BoxingScene that Erdei is having his hand evaluated by a physician to determine if the injury is a simple sprain or something more serious which requires an extended period of time to heal. The doctor's final ruling with determine whether or not Erdei withdraws from the contest.
Frankly, it doesn't sound good. Hand injuries are common, of course, and probably are the leading factor in guys having to bail on fights on short notice. Erdei (33-0, 18 KO) is lined up to challenge IBF titlist Cloud (23-0, 19 KO) in Anaheim on New Year's Eve, in what is slated to be the evening's main event. A super bantamweight title bout between Rico Ramos and Guillermo Rigondeaux is the co-feature.
If Erdei does pull out of the fight, there may be time to find a replacement and keep Cloud active on the card. Most of the IBF top 15 is unlikely, but maybe someone like Isaac Chilemba (18-1-1, 9 KO) could be in the mix. The South African has a promotional deal with Lou DiBella, as does Erdei, and if he's close to in shape, it could be a big opportunity for him.
For now, Cloud vs Erdei remains the fight. But it may not be too soon to think about alternatives.