Of course there’d be some 11th-hour drama.
WBA junior lightweight titlist Roger Gutierrez announced on Instagram that his upcoming title defense against Hector Garcia, previously planned for July 10 in the former’s native Venezuela, has been moved to the United States after Garcia allegedly declined to fight on his opponent’s home turf.
Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KO) didn’t specify whether the original Sunday date would remain intact. Golden Boy has a number of upcoming shows, as does Showtime, where Garcia (15-0, 10 KO) upset Chris Colbert in February; it theoretically wouldn’t be terribly difficult to transplant this fight onto, say, Adrien Broner vs Omar Figueroa on July 23.
Right now, though, I’m more interested in how this debacle came to pass. The impression that I get is that these two didn’t have a signed contract despite being less than two weeks from fight night; of things were as official as the WBA suggested, there’s no way Garcia would have been permitted to just change his mind and nope out.
That’s assuming Gutierrez is telling the truth, of course, and not just putting some spin on a stadium deal breaking down or some other local shenanigans.
Whatever the case, it’s looking like Gutierrez may go a full year without defending his secondary title. At this point, I’m half expecting him to pull out and Garcia to get stomped by an unknown newcomer just to keep the cycle going.