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Pedraza v LesPierre Is OFF

Michael Woods

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UPDATE: The manager for fighter Mikkel LesPierre tested positive for COVID-19, so the bout pitting LesPierre against Jose Pedraza scheduled for this evening has been cancelled.

Here is the release Top Rank sent out regarding the situation:

Pedraza vs. LesPierre Bout Canceled Following Positive COVID-19 Result

Gabriel Flores Jr.—Josec Ruiz elevated to main event (ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 8 p.m. ET)

Tonight’s Top Rank on ESPN main event between Jose Pedraza and Mikkel LesPierre has been canceled after LesPierre’s manager, Jose Taveras, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this morning. The Gabriel Flores Jr.-Josec Ruiz lightweight bout has been elevated to the main event (ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 8 p.m. ET).

Said LesPierre: “My manager, Jose Taveras, tested positive for COVID-19. Due to the rules and regulations set forth by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, I will be unable to fight tonight as scheduled against Jose Pedraza. I understand the severity of COVID-19 because I have been working on the front lines of helping treat this virus at Mount Sinai Beth Israel—Petrie Division in Manhattan.

“I am devastated. This was my opportunity to showcase my talent to the world, but everything happens for a reason. This is just another roadblock in my story.

“I apologize to Jose and his team for any inconvenience this caused. He is a great boxer, and I hope we can reschedule the fight as soon as possible.”

Said Taveras: “I apologize for the inconvenience this caused. I am not exhibiting any symptoms. I am looking forward to hopefully rescheduling this fight as soon as possible. I am devastated for Mikkel.”

Mikkel LesPierre did what the majority of guys did to get ready for his fight Thursday night in Las Vegas against Jose “Sniper” Pedraza. He adapted to the circumstances that coronavirus hurled at him, though, being a NY guy, he had to adapt a bit harder than some folks in other necks of other woods, where the virus didn’t slam as hard.

Slikk Mikk is 35, and lost but looked respectable in a title shot versus Maurice Hooker last March.

He rebounded with a win against Roody P Paul, in December, and was offered the work and some bread for this June 18th show.

Did the man who reps Gleason’s Gym get “enough” notice to feel like he’ll be the best version of himself at The Bubble and on ESPN?

“Yes, I had a good five weeks to prepare… due to the circumstances I think it worked in my favor,” LesPierre (below, in Mikey Williams photo) said in text message on Wednesday. “A lot of the training was outside and I got about 40 rounds of sparring in.”

Side note: The ex star pug Joan Guzman is head trainer in the LesPierre corner, for the record.

Mikkel LesPierre weighed in for his June 18 fight in Vegas versus Jose Pedraza.

LesPierre is 35, his window isn’t wide open. An upset win versus Pedraza would give him a massive career momentum boost.

Here are all the weights for all the fights. One last quickie note–David Kaminsky, a 6-0 prospect from Israel, is matched against the spoiler specialist, Clay Collard (6-2-3), from Utah. He’s faced seven unbeatens in his 11 pro outings, and he’s not one to be looked past, so that one could be a standout on the slate.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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