Arguably the best fight on the current schedule has been scrapped, as Marcos Maidana has pulled out of his scheduled July 17 fight against Timothy Bradley.
According to a press release from Bradley's team, Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions contacted Bradley's promoter Gary Shaw to try and explain the situation. Shaw was left skeptical to say the least.
"Eric told me Maidana missed his flight to the U.S. and later in the same conversation told me Maidana's back was still injured and that he would not be fighting Timmy on July 17," said Shaw. "Obviously Maidana's back was not getting any better and a call to us last week from Team Maidana would have been the professional thing to do. But HBO and Agua Caliente are standing behind Timmy and his July 17 date, and I expect to announce Timmy's new opponent soon."
As Rick Reeno said at BoxingScene.com, this is the second time Maidana has withdrawn from the fight. It was set to go on June 19, but Maidana postponed it until July 17 with a back injury. Shaw told Reeno that he doesn't blame Golden Boy, even saying that Eric Gomez told him they had no idea about Maidana being ready to pull out again.
Shaw also says he plans to petition the California State Athletic Commission.
This is a real blow as a diehard boxing fan. Bradley-Maidana had fireworks written all over it. Both have made a lot of fans in the last year, with Maidana out-gutting Victor Ortiz in a bombfest last summer, and Bradley continually showing he's willing to take on very tough competition.
There is something about this that stinks, let's be honest. I'm not saying anyone should fight with a back injury, but apparently Maidana can't (or won't) provide any documentation proving that he does have the injury. It wasn't long ago everyone was backing Maidana and accusing Amir Khan of ducking him. Now, the shoe could wind up on the other foot. Khan never agreed to fight Maidana, Maidana did agree to fight Bradley.
Let's hope Shaw can find a good opponent for Bradley, because I think he's proven that's all he's interested in. Bradley was originally going to fight at welterweight against Luis Carlos Abregu.
I do know one name off the top of my head that everyone would love to see: Devon Alexander. Alexander has a tentative date for August 7 in St. Louis, which would mean bumping his current rumored date up three weeks. It might be too late in the game to get Alexander for this one, but it never hurts to test the waters.