WBO minimumweight titleholder Moises Fuentes has reportedly withdrawn from this Saturday’s matchup with Filipino contender Michael Landero, citing a hand injury.
Rafael Soto of Fuentes’ Mexico-based promoter Zanfer Promotions wrote that Landero (15-5-4, 5 knockouts), of Paranaque City, Philippines, will instead face Raul “Rayito” Garcia (31-2-1, 19 KO), of La Paz, Mexico, at the Auditorio Fausto Gutierrez Moreno in Tijuana, Mexico.
Garcia, 29, is a two-time 105-pound title-holder, having first won the IBF version of the title in 2008 with a decision victory over Florante Condes and making four defenses before losing to THE RING’s no. 1 strawweight contender Nkosinathi Joyi in 2010. Garcia went on to beat Rommel Asenjo last year for the WBO belt, but lost it in his first defense to Fuentes on a split-decision.
Landero, 25, dropped a unanimous decision to South African Hekkie Budler in his most recent bout this past September.
“Of course we wanted to fight for the title, that’s why we agreed to a small purse, but we can’t do anything about it,” said Rommel Nazario, Landero’s manager. “It’s better to fight than to go home with nothing.”
It’s unclear whether Fuentes’ injury will impact his propose April 28 clash with Ivan Calderon in Puerto Rico.
Calls to Zanfer Promotions matchmaker Sean Gibbons were not answered on Wednesday afternoon.
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News and the Filipino Reporter newspaper in New York City. He is also a member of The Ring ratings panel. He can be reached at email@example.com. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.