Following the sudden and unexpected passing of his trainer, Filipino lightweight Jose Ocampo has withdrawn from his scheduled Saturday fight in London against Ricky Burns, leaving the WBO lightweight champ and his team scrambling to find a new opponent.
Burns (35-2, 10 KO) was originally slated to meet Liam Walsh on Saturday, but Walsh pulled out following an automobile accident, and Ocampo was tapped as his replacement. Now, with just five days' notice (the team may have had an extra day or two that they were aware Ocampo wouldn't be fighting, but it's not much) they have to find another new opponent, which may prove very difficult.
Neither opponent was really scheduled as a test for Burns, but he does want to fight and stay active, particularly if the real next target is a potential fight in February with Adrien Broner.
If Burns' team can find an opponent, there's a pretty good chance his world title won't be on the line, which could come down to there just not being enough time to find a challenger the WBO will approve. Even the WBO can't fix rankings in five days.
Still scheduled for the bill at the ExCel Arena is George Groves vs Glen Johnson, Billy Joe Saunders vs Nick Blackwell, and Bradley Skeete vs Chas Symonds, among other bouts.