Fres Oquendo, who was set to face Mike Perez in the opening bout of the May 7 Prizefighter event in London, has pulled out of the tournament after the passing of close friend Wendell Granville.
"Wendell helped get me off the streets when I was a knucklehead and stuck with me through all the malaise of boxing for nearly 20 years all the way to helping me make the FOBA [Oquendo's non-profit organization] come to fruition. I feel I should to be here with his family and partake in any arrangements the family will make this upcoming week."
The 38-year-old former contender came to Prizefighter via another friend and frequent training partner, David Haye, and was arguably the most accomplished of the field.
I think we all expected someone would pull out of the tournament, but I don't think anyone thought it would be a situation like this. No replacement for Oquendo has been named, but there are always alternates locked up, so that shouldn't be a huge fix for the promoters.
Bad Left Hook sends our best wishes and condolences to Fres Oquendo and the loved ones of Mr. Granville.