An injury that shelves
the main event -- Rijker vs.
Martin -- also kills the rest
of the July 30 card
Brian Viloria's first world-title fight has been called off after main attraction Lucia Rijker suffered a ruptured Achilles' tendon while training.
"I've been through it before, but it's still hard to swallow," Viloria said. "You prepare so hard for this, and it just happens again. Unbelievable."
Promoter Bob Arum announced yesterday that the entire July 30 card, which was billed as the "Million Dollar Lady" championship fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center between Christy Martin and Rijker, is canceled. Rijker was to face Martin for a guaranteed $250,000 each, with the winner getting an additional $750,000. Viloria was to face World Boxing Organization champion Eric Ortiz for the organization's junior flyweight belt.
"She'll be on the shelf for at least four months," Arum told the Associated Press yesterday. "We'll see how long it's going to take to actually heal. Until I know all of that, I can't make any commitment to reschedule it."
While Rijker heals, Viloria is left scrambling to set up another time and place for his first world-title shot. Viloria's camp expects the fight to happen sooner rather than later. Team Viloria manager Gary Gittelsohn said he will meet with Top Rank's Arum and Todd duBoef today in Los Angeles to try to convince them to schedule the fight for late August or early September at the latest.
"It is definitely a body blow," Gittelsohn said. "But every boxer at every level goes through this. As bad as Brian and I feel, I'm sure Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker are feeling worse."
It is the third time Viloria's Las Vegas debut has fallen apart. He had fights signed in the city last September and December only to have his opponents drop out at the last minute. Viloria knocked out his last two opponents -- Angel Priolo and Ruben Contreras -- despite not knowing he was fighting them until days before each fight because earlier opponents backed out.
Viloria was scheduled to have his last day of sparring tomorrow. Now, it's back to the gym until he and Ortiz can agree on a ring to step into.
"I think it only changes things for me slightly," Viloria said. "I am always training anyway -- what is another six weeks? I'm used to it by now."