by David P. Greisman
Former junior-middleweight titleholder Bronco McKart has suffered an injury in training camp and will no longer be facing middleweight prospect J’Leon Love on Showtime on Feb. 23, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press.
Love told BoxingScene.com via text message Tuesday morning that he will be facing Derrick Findley instead.
“I’d been sparring middleweights and heavyweights, and everything was fine,” McKart told the Detroit Free Press. “Then I spar a guy around 135 pounds, and he lands a freaky shot under my right ribcage. It didn’t hurt much at the time, but a couple days later, I couldn’t breathe properly. I went to the hospital for X-rays and was told I had bruised the ribs and could easily have suffered a punctured lung.”
McKart, who lives less than an hour away from Detroit — where the card is taking place — is about a month away from his 42nd birthday. He captured a world title at 154 pounds in 1996, losing it in his first defense, against Winky Wright. His career has included several comebacks; his most recent return began in 2012, with a majority decision win last April over a 17-9-1 fighter named Jose Medina and then a seventh-round technical knockout loss to Anthony Mundine in July, according to BoxRec.com. That brought his record to 54-10-1 (32 knockouts).
Love, a 25-year-old who originally hails from Michigan, is 14-0 with 8 knockouts. His last appearance was in November, a sixth-round technical knockout of Tyrone Selders.
Findley, 28, has been a measuring stick opponent for several prospects, including Andre Ward in 2006, Andre Dirrell in 2009, Matvey Korobov in 2010 and Fernando Guerrero in 2011. He is coming off a second-round stoppage of Ronald Hearns, a victory that brought his record to 20-8 (13 knockouts).
The Showtime broadcast initially was to have been headlined by Devon Alexander vs. Kell Brook, but Alexander suffered what he said was a biceps injury. That pushed the junior-middleweight title bout between Cornelius Bundrage and Ishe Smith into the main event.
BoxingScene.com has sent an email to a Showtime spokesman to find out whether Love vs. Findley would be part of the “Showtime Championship Boxing” undercard or would instead be one of the preliminary bouts broadcast on Showtime Extreme. This article will be updated when more details are available.
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org