Featherweight contender Rocky Juarez was offered a fight with Puerto Rico's Mario Santiago as a replacement for his scrapped rematch with Chris John on Saturday night (HBO Boxing After Dark), but turned down the offer due to Santiago being a southpaw. From Dan Rafael:
Juarez (28-4-1, 20 KOs) rejected the fight because Santiago is a southpaw and he did not want to make the adjustment on such short notice after training for the right-handed John, Schaefer said.
"Rocky would have been OK fighting anyone but a lefty," Schaefer said.
Santiago appeared to be an ideal opponent because he was already scheduled to fight on the untelevised portion of Saturday's Top Rank pay-per-view card in Atlantic City, N.J. Now, Santiago will remain on the Top Rank card.
"It looks like it will be just Victor Ortiz and Marcos Maidana on HBO. We are going to go with one fight," Schaefer said. "Rocky won't fight at all. There was an opponent [Santiago] which Rocky turned down. It's not so easy to find someone everyone can agree on at the last minute."
It is not surprising that Juarez wouldn't want to risk a potential rescheduling of the John rematch on a fight with Santiago, who is not only a lefty, but a top ten guy at 126 pounds. You probably recall Santiago from a hell of a good fight with Steven Luevano in 2008, which ended in a draw. It's too bad Rocky won't be fighting and that B.A.D. is now a one-fight card with just Victor Ortiz (a rising name, but not established at all) and Marcos Maidana (who has never been on HBO before). It's yet another snake-bitten 2009 card, as the original idea was Ortiz challenging 140-pound titlist Andriy Kotelnik, who balked after agreeing to the deal to take a fight with Amir Khan, which has also been rescheduled now. That was to be paired with the nicely anticipated John-Juarez II, which for about ten seconds might've been Juarez-Santiago in a very acceptable replacement fight, and now is just plain off. It's been a horrible year for promoters putting together cards, and HBO has taken the very worst of it.