The final boxing Pay-Per-View event of 2020 will now come with changes to the televised undercard.
Former featherweight Julio Ceja has been forced out of a December 5 PPV preliminary clash with countryman Eduardo Ramirez due to illness, multiple sources familiar with the situation have confirmed to BoxingScene.com.
The pair of Mexican featherweights were due to collide in supporting capacity to Errol Spence’s welterweight title defense versus Danny Garcia in the main event this Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Sources inform BoxingScene.com that a new opponent is being sought for Ramirez (23-2-3, 10KOs), though not known as this goes to publish whether he will remain on the PPV portion.
Ceja (32-4-1, 28KOs) has been training out of the Las Vegas gym of renowned cornerman Ismael Salas in preparation for his first fight in more than a year. Salas tested positive for COVID-19, which forced him out of the corner of heavyweight Joe Joyce in his 10th round stoppage of Daniel Dubois this past Saturday in England.
Concerns of a gym outbreak have since made its way to Ceja, who has also tested positive and has since experienced Covid-related symptoms which has forced him out of training and off of the show altogether.
The bout would have been the first for Ceja since a hard-fought 12-round draw with Brandon Figueroa last November at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ceja came in more than four pounds above the 122-pound junior featherweight limit for the fight, which was permitted to proceed but without Figueroa’s secondary title at stake in a supporting bout to then-heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder’s repeat knockout win over Luis Oritz.
Ramirez also fought on that November 23 show, scoring a 4th round stoppage of unbeaten Leduan Barthelemy.
According to sources, the remaining three bouts on this weekend’s Fox Sports PPV will remain intact, with only Ramirez’s slot still in question.
In addition to Spence-Garcia will also come a welterweight scrap between veteran gatekeepers Josesito Lopez (37-8, 20KOs) and Francisco ‘Chia’ Santana (25-8-1, 12KOs). The evening’s chief support pits unbeaten 6’5½” junior middleweight contender Sebastian Fundora (15-0-1, 10KOs) versus Mexican trialhorse Jorge Cota (30-4, 27KOs) in a 12-round battle.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox