Ricky Burns, left, will have to wait until April if he wants to face Miguel Vazquez in a unification bout. (Rob Casey/Getty Images)
The lightweight unification showdown between WBO titleholder Ricky Burns and IBF champion Miguel Vazquez, scheduled for March 16 in Lonon’s Wembley Arena, has been postponed, promoter Frank Warren announced on Monday. According to Warren, the delay is due to an illness suffered by Vazquez during training.
"It's very unfortunate that Vazquez has had to withdraw so close to the fight,” Warren said. “But it is on medical grounds, which is beyond my control, due to his viral infection, and we have his doctor's certificate confirming this. Therefore I have had to postpone the fight, not cancelled as stated in some media reports, to Saturday, April 20, at Wembley Arena.”
The fight was scheduled to be televised in the U.S. on Epix.
The postponement was the latest issue with a card that had been quickly disintegrating. Last week, super middleweight prospect George Groves, who was supposed to fight for a minor title on the televised undercard, pulled out and defected to rival promoter Matchroom Boxing. In addition, heavyweight Dereck Chisora, who was scheduled to return to the ring for the first time since losing to David Haye last summer, hasn’t received a license from the British Boxing Board of Control, and there are some doubts as to whether he will get it.
Moreover, there are questions as to why Vazquez pulled out. Last month, Vazquez said there was no deal in place for the fight.
In interviews with British outlets, Burns’s manager, Alex Morrison, expressed frustration at the timing of the latest cancelation and would not commit to Burns fighting on April 20.
"We are very unhappy with this latest postponement," Morrison told a U.K. television station. "Especially after the fight was called off in December [against Jose Ocampo], and now this. This is unacceptable. I spoke to Ricky this morning. As you can imagine he's upset. He's sacrificed a lot, training and the cost of sparring partners. That's about £12,000 of his own money in training costs he's now down over the last two fights. The treatment of him is pretty disrespectful.”
One person who was happy with the postponement was Adrien Broner, the recognized kingpin of the 135-pound division who has been chasing a fight with Burns for more than a year.
“what up Ricky burns now that your fight is canceled come fight me B----!!!!,” Broner tweeted on Monday. -- CHRIS MANNIX