08
Mar
2021

Devastation as light heavyweight title bout falls foul of Covid at the eleventh hour

RINGSIDE 12/02/2021
Joe Smith Jr. Vlasov

Saturday’s Top Rank on ESPN main event between Joe Smith Jr. and Maxim Vlasov — for the vacant WBO light heavyweight world title — has been postponed after Vlasov tested positive for COVID-19.

Vlasov said, “I am devastated with the postponement of my world title fight against Joe Smith Jr. I have been following strict protocols, I have done regular testing with negative results, and I have no symptoms. I am well prepared and had an excellent training camp. I look forward to the rescheduling of the fight and the opportunity to display my world class skills.”

The Richard Commey-Jackson Marinez lightweight bout has been elevated to the main event and will headline the ESPN-televised tripleheader beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

In the new co-feature, action star Adam Lopez will defend his NABF featherweight belt in a 10-rounder against former world title challenger Jason Sanchez.

The ESPN telecast will open with Toledo heavyweight sensation Jared Anderson (7-0, 7 KOs) against Kingsley Ibeh in a six-rounder.

Undercard bouts, including the professional debut of former U.S. amateur star Troy Isley, will stream live on ESPN+ at 8:15 p.m. ET/5:15 p.m. PT.