Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Francisco Rodriguez Jr. postponed due non-COVID related illnesses
The 12-round bout between WBC flyweight titleholder Julio Cesar Martinez and challenger Francisco Rodriguez on December 19 has been postponed, Matchroom Boxing announced on Wednesday afternoon.
The fight was to precede the main event bout between The Ring Magazine middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez and The Ring Magazine super middleweight champion Callum Smith, which will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. DAZN will stream the fight live.
Matchroom Boxing also announced middleweight prospect Diego Pacheco was also off the card. The unbeaten Pacheco was scheduled to fight Rodolfo Gomez Jr. in a six-round bout.
No specific reason was given as to why both Martinez and Rodriguez were pulled off the card. Matchroom Boxing only stated both were removed “due to a non-COVID related illness in both cases.”
The all-Mexico clash between Martinez and Rodriguez was highly anticipated by fight fans given their aggressive, all-action styles.
Martinez (17-1, 13 knockouts), who resides in Mexico City, was scheduled to make the third defense of the WBC title he won last December 20, stopping Cristofer Rosales, of Nicaragua, in Round 9. In his most recent bout on October 23, Martinez stopped late sub Moises Calleros in Round 2.
The December 19 bout was not the first time this year Martinez had to withdraw from a fight. He was scheduled to defend his WBC title against McWilliams Arroyo of Puerto Rico on August 15 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but had to pull out, reportedly due to a throat infection.
Martinez is ranked No. 3 by The Ring at 112 pounds and is trained by Eddy Reynoso, who also trains Alvarez and heavyweight prospect Frank Sanchez. The latter will also appear on the card in a 10-round bout against Julian Fernandez.
Rodriguez (33-4-1, 24 KOs), who resides in Monterrey, Mexico, most recently fought on November 30 of last year, stopping Jose Cardenas in Round 6.
Since losing back-to-back fights to then-WBO junior flyweight titleholder Donnie Nietes and countryman Moises Fuentes in 2015, Rodriguez has mostly campaigned at 115 pounds. He has displayed more aggression and power in winning his last 14 bouts, including 11 by knockout.
The 27-year-old Rodriguez, who is ranked No. 7 by The Ring at 115 pounds, is promoted by Promociones Del Pueblo.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.
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