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Julio Cesar Martinez out of Canelo-Smith co-feature with “non-COVID” illness

Martinez previously withdrew from an August fight with McWilliams Arroyo due to a throat infection

Juan Francisco Estrada v Carlos Cuadras - WBC Super-Flyweight Championship Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

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.

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.