Yesterday afternoon, Matchroom Boxing announced that WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez has been forced to withdraw from his December 19th clash with Francisco Rodriguez Jr. due to “non-COVID related illness.” The fight was set to co-headline Canelo Alvarez’s clash with Callum Smith on DAZN.
ℹ Julio Cesar Martinez and @realdpacheco have been removed from December 19's #CaneloSmith show due to non-COVID related illness in both cases.— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) December 9, 2020
We will announce a replacement for #MartinezRodriguez shortly | @DAZNBoxing
In case the tweet doesn’t show up for you, 19-year-old super middleweight prospect Diego Pacheco was forced out for similar reasons.
This is just the latest setback for Martinez (17-1, 13 KO) in a year chock-full of them. A throat infection kept him from facing top contender McWilliams Arroyo in August, and a potential October firefight with Maximino Flores collapsed due to Flores catching COVID. He went on to smash Moises Calleros instead in a fight that got him no closer to his desired unifications.
We’ll let you know if Matchroom manage to scrounge up a replacement or are forced to bump up one of the undercard bouts. Said undercard currently features prospects Frank Sanchez, Alexis Espino, and Austin “Ammo” Williams.