By Jake Donovan
BoxingScene.com has been advised that Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas (18-0, 13 KOs) failed an eye exam with the California State Athletic Commission, and as a result his scheduled fight with Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington (16-0-1, 11 KOs) is canceled.
The ten round heavyweight bout was set to take place on Saturday, February 27, as the opening bout of a Showtime-televised tripleheader from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. However, the failed medical exam puts a damper on those plans.
"For now, all we know was that he is not permitted to fight this weekend," said promoter Yvon Michel, who was unable to provide a detailed explanation as of publication. "After a medical review conducted by the California State Athletic Commission, it was decided that Oscar will need to pass additional tests in order to obtain a boxing license in the state."
To the best of his team's knowledge, the ruling does not equate a federal suspension, as is often - but not always - the case when a fighter is barred from competing in a state falling under the auspices of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC).
"He is not suspended (nationwide)," Michel insists. "It is just limited to his ability to obtain a license in California. We hope to have more details later (Wednesday)."
Rivas, who represented Columbia at the 2008 Olympics, fought exclusively as a pro in his adopted hometown of Montreal before making his U.S. debut with a 1st round knockout of Jason Pettaway last June. He remained in the public eye in his most recent appearance, a 2nd round knockout of Joey Abell last November in Quebec City, Canada. The bout aired live on SHO Extreme, with stateside fans bearing witness to his seventh consecutive knockout.
This would have been his biggest test - figuratively and physically - to date, but that moment will have to come once he is able to clear up the medical issues that prevented him from being licensed in California.
It remains unclear whether Washington remains on the card, given the unlikelihood of securing an approved opponent in time.
The telecast will still feature two world title fights.
In the main event, undefeated three-division world champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz will make the first defense of his Featherweight World Championship against former world champion Kiko Martinez. Televised coverage begins live at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with the exciting super bantamweight world title rematch between Mexican power-punchers Julio Ceja and Hugo Ruiz.
Also included on the telecast will be a exclusive replay of the super bantamweight title unification clash between Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg. Live coverage will be provided Saturday afternoon (5:30 p.m. EST) on SHO Extreme from Manchester Arena in Manchester, Engnald.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox