Diego Chaves’ visa has been cleared for travel and the once-beaten welterweight will be able to face Brandon Rios on Saturday in Las Vegas, Nev., the promoter of the HBO-televised fight, Top Rank, announced on Wednesday.
Chaves (23-1, 19 knockouts), an Argentina-based fringe contender, was stuck in his home country due to a recent computer malfunction with U.S. immigration services that resulted in the delay of thousands of visa applications from being processed.
Chaves’ application was among them, and Top Rank was prepared to replace the Argentine boxer-puncher with undefeated junior welterweight prospect Jose Zepeda, who was on the undercard of the show that will be held at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
However, Chaves – a much sterner test for Rios than the 25-year-old Southern Californian – is now en route to the U.S.
The scheduled 10-round bout with Chaves will be the first fight of 2014 for Rios (31-2-1, 22 KOs), who hasn’t fought since dropping a one-sided unanimous decision to Manny Pacquiao last November.
The co-main event to Rios-Chaves will feature junior welterweight contender Jessie Vargas against fellow unbeaten Anton Novikov in a scheduled 12-round bout.
Both fights will be televised live on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark,” along with the Sergey Kovalev-Blake Caparello WBO light heavyweight title bout from Atlantic City, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.