Top Rank has released a statement after a positive COVID-19 test scrapped the fourth main event of their comeback to action in Las Vegas.
Shows have been staged inside ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand on the famous strip and had largely on been disrupted once.
In the first event, Mikaela Mayer suffered a ‘false-positive’ confirmation and was subsequently ruled out of her clash. Mayer has since learned that she is virus-free.
This latest coronavirus incident is the most high-profile so far, leaving former world champion Jose Pedraza without a fight.
As Top Rank explained, no suitable replacement was on standby. Therefore, they had no choice but to cancel the headliner.
The information passed to WBN read as follows:
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’m devastated for Mikkel.”
Gabriel Flores Jr. will now take top billing. As WBN previously reported, a wager of over $187,000 has been placed on Flores at 1/33. The punter stands to gain just $4,000 in return.