Jose Pedraza and Mikkel LesPierre won't be stepping to the ring tonight in Las Vegas after all.
First reported by Boxing Scene's Keith Idec and later confirmed by Top Rank Boxing, the fight was called off after LesPierre's manager tested positive for COVID-19. That fight was originally supposed to be the main event of tonight's Top Rank on ESPN card. The rest of the card will move forward as planned with Gabriel Flores Jr. vs. Josec Ruiz as the new main event.
This is the fourth fight originally planned to be a part of an ESPN show that was canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test since the promotion's return to live boxing began earlier this month.
The first fight canceled was Mikaela Mayer vs. Helen Joseph, originally set for June 9, after Mayer tested positive for COVID-19. The other two fights canceled were Edward Vazquez vs. Chris Zavala that was taking place on June 16 and lastly, Silvia Torres vs. Edith de Jesus Flores, originally set for June 20, was also called off due to Torres testing positive.
Below is Top Rank's statement on the Pedraza vs. LesPierre fight cancelation:
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.”
The card will air on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.