Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Matchroom Boxing have announced that WBC flyweight titleholder Julio Cesar Martinez has withdrawn from Saturday’s title defense against McWilliams Arroyo due to an unspecified illness.
Raymond Ford vs Richard Medina will take its place on the main card.
For those keeping track at home, this marks the third time that Martinez (18-2, 14 KO) has pulled out of a fight with Arroyo (21-4, 16 KO), the second time he’s done so on fight week, and the fourth time overall that he’s withdrawn from a title defense in the last two years.
This ongoing debacle and his inability to make the junior bantamweight limit against Chocolatito Gonzalez have done a number on the goodwill his all-action style generated in the ring.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman says they’ll “be addressing this terrible situation,” which sounds to me like Martinez’s title may be at risk.
Arroyo’s been his mandatory challenger since 2020 and already got to fight for the interim title when Martinez bailed on him in Feb. 2021. I get that this was outside of Martinez’s control unless you think he’s trying to mask weight issues, but this can’t continue.
The silver lining is that Saturday’s card is deep enough to take the hit and still be stacked thanks to the main event between Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, plus Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs Ronny Rios and Jessica McCaskill vs Alma Ibarra.