Report- Martinez August DAZN main event off due to illness
An illness for WBC Flyweight Champ, Julio Cesar Martinez, has postponed his upcoming August title defense that was to have headlined the return of Matchroom Boxing to the U.S.
That’s according to an exclusive report from Boxingscene senior writer, Jake Donovan, late Sunday night, who reported that Martinez has tested positive for an upper respiratory infection. However, his management team confirmed that he is negative, at this time, for Covid-19:
— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) July 20, 2020
With the respiratory illness, Martinez, 16-1, 12 KOs, has been unable to train for at least a week making his scheduled defense against McWilliams Arroyo, 20-4, 15 KOs, not possible.
Martinez would have been making his second title defense, since winning the WBC 112 lb. championship against Christofer Rosales in December of last year. Martinez last fought in Frisco, Texas on February 29th scoring a unanimous 12 round decision (above) over Jay Harris.
This is a blow to the return of boxing for Matchroom, who intends to put the fights in a unique setting on the streets of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Saturday night August 15th.
As of Monday morning it’s unclear as to whether the promotion will quickly find another fight to headline for three weeks from now, or move another fight on the card into the main event slot.
Already scheduled is the Women’s Welterweight showdown between unbeaten Champion Cecilia Braekhus and Junior Welterweight Champion Jessica McCaskill, who is moving up to fight her.
Braekhus is one of the notable names worldwide in women’s boxing, but it’s not clear if from a marketing standpoint, she would be a big enough name to carry interest for Matchroom and particularly, their U.S. television partners DAZN streaming service.
Interestingly, due to Covid-19 illness involving WBO Junior Lightweight champion Jamel Herring, Top Rank Boxing had little choice but to make a similar decision. They elevated unbeaten women’s fighter Mikaela Mayer in a non-title fight as their main event in their Vegas “bubble” last Tuesday night.
Certainly, Matchroom could choose to do the same thing with Braekus in this situation.
Donovan further wrote that Martinez and his team believe that he will likely be back to full health, back training soon and could fight in September.
However, Matchroom does not have a U.S. system set up like the Top Rank “bubble,” where they are regularly holding fights at the same location, with testing/isolation and can easily exchange fighters and fights due to Covid 19, other injuries, etc.
Instead, DAZN would likely have to put Martinez as part of a planned, but not yet announced, September fight card somewhere or wait even longer.
Matchroom Boxing is intending to do a similar fight idea to what Top Rank has done in Las Vegas in the U.K. with their “Fight Camp” series beginning in August for four consecutive weekends.
Those fights will be held at the promotion’s headquarters in the London suburbs and the fighters/teams all housed and tested on site in their own version of a “bubble” prior to the bouts.