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Three lower-weight title fights canceled in quick succession

Wilfredo Mendez, Carlos Canizales, and Moruti Mthalane were supposed to fight in the last few days

Manny Pacquiao v Lucas Matthysse - WBA Welterweight Title Bout Photo by How Foo Yeen/Getty Images

It’s not been a good couple days for world champions below 115 pounds, as three different titlists saw their upcoming title defenses canceled. Interestingly, all three fights collapsed for totally different reasons.

WBO minimumweight champ Wilfredo “Bimbito” Mendez was slated to defend his title against Alexis Diaz in the Dominican Republic yesterday, only to fall ill on fight day and ultimately withdraw. Over in Venezuela, WBA light flyweight kingpin Carlos Canizales missed out on his first fight since May of last year when challenger Jesus Silvestre came in just below the super flyweight limit. Finally, IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane, slated to fight in his native South Africa for the first time since 2017 today, was forced out after the local sanctioning body announced that “the Promoter (Tono Promotions)...failed to meet basic requirements to enable BSA to sanction and give credibility to the event.”

It’s very 2020 to see everything go pear-shaped without anyone actually catching COVID. Let’s hope these guys can get back in the ring before too long.