I know this is going to come as an incredible shock to everyone, but Juan Carlos Gomez has bailed on Saturday's Prizefighter tournament. Just a few days ago, Fres Oquendo pulled out of the show.
The two veteran heavyweights have been replaced by Kertson Manswell (20-1, 15 KO) and Lucian Bot (14-0-1, 5 KO). Manswell, replacing Oquendo, will face Mike Perez, while Bot will take Gomez's place against Konstantin Airich.
Manswell, 34, is from Trinidad and in his last fight was drilled in two rounds by Bermane Stiverne. He's never beaten anyone of note. Bot almost has the famous name of countryman Lucian Bute, but doesn't have the record. The 31-year-old Romanian hasn't fought in a year, and has been matched incredibly soft in his home country, Hungary, and Spain since turning pro in 2002. He's had just 15 fights in nine years, and two since 2008.
To say these replacements are not up to the original selected fighters is an understatement, but I think we all figured at least two fighters were going to pull out of the tournament, with Gomez one of the odds-on favorites to do so. Prizefighter is a format where you just plain never know, and crazy winners have come out of nowhere on multiple occasions, but this tournament now seems like it's Mike Perez's to lose without question, in my mind.