Just days after IBF super middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui was announced to fight Ezequiel Maderna on September 28, Top Rank is now scrambling to find a new opponent for Uzcategui.
The fight between Uzcategui and Maderna, originally a 10-round non-title fight, was supposed to headline a Top Rank Boxing card at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California and be streamed exclusively on ESPN+. Now that fight will not happen after Top Rank VP Carl Moretti told ESPN that Maderna might not get a visa in time for the fight and instead of risking Maderna not making the trip to California, the company has decided on looking for a new opponent.
It’s been a tough past few weeks for matchmakers when it comes to finding opponents for Uzcategui. Uzcategui was elevated from interim champion to full champion earlier this year when then-champion James DeGale vacated the title. The new champion was then ordered to fight Caleb Plant, but Plant suffered an injury that stopped a planned fight for either September or October from happening.
There had been plans to have Uzcategui defend the title in Tijuana, Mexico against Gabriel Rosado, but Rosado turned down the fight because Rosado wanted the fight to take place in the United States, not Mexico. Rosado now has put his name into the ring as a possible replacement opponent for September 28.
Uzcategui won’t be the only world champion competing on the September 28 card. In the co-main event fight, Jerwin Ancajas will defend his IBF super flyweight title against Mexican fighter Alejandro Santiago.