UPDATE: Top Rank has confirmed that the Pedraza-LesPierre bout has been canceled. The bout is looking to be rescheduled for another time to be determined.
The new main event of the fight card will be Flores v. Ruiz.
Official update on tonight's main event on ESPN: pic.twitter.com/BWIWvC4Zox
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) June 18, 2020
“My manager, Jose Taveras, tested positive for COVID-19,” LesPierre stated via a release.”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.”
Taveres also commented on the matter, stating: “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.”
Original: One of the big return fights Top Rank has been looking to produce may not be going on as planned.
According to Keith Idec of Boxing Scene and Dan Rafael, the June 18 main event of Jose Pedraza v. Mikkel LesPierre has reportedly been canceled. LesPierre’s trainer recently tested positive for COVID-19, and as a result of the Nevada Atheltic Commission’s guidelines, those who have been with the person affected by the virus cannot participate in fight night activity.
The Nevada commission/Top Rank protocol is very clear: the manager was with the fighter. Anyone who tests positive and the people they’ve been with are removed from the bubble. Period. So no fight.
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) June 18, 2020
Been told tonight's ESPN main event between Jose Pedraza and Mikkel LesPierre is off because LesPierre's manager has tested positive for COVID-19. According to protocols in place, the Nevada commission must cancel the fight.
— Keith Idec (@Idecboxing) June 18, 2020
Boxing Scene went on to say that LesPierre tested negative for the virus, as well as Pedraza.
Recently, the Nevada Athletic Commission met for the first time since barring combat sports in March. They agreed to bring boxing and MMA back to the state, as long as proper safety guidelines were in place. Top Rank boxers and staff have bene inside “the bubble”, one that secures those involved in events and separates them from everyone else. Multiple tests have been performed during this time and one of the rulings is that if you test positive you must automatically be taken off the cards.
This recently happened to Mikaela Mayer, who was asymptomatic but still tested positive. She wanted to get to the bottom of this, as her fight with Helen Joseph ended up getting nixed. Shakur Stevenson’s head trainer also ended up not being a part of the June 9 card as a result of him interacting with Mayer.
The new main event would be a lightweight bout pitting Gabriel Flores Jr against Josec Ruiz. Nothing would change in regards to start time, which would be 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Pedraza (26-3) is coming off of a loss against Jose Zepeda back in September, while LesPierre (22-1-1) is coming off of a win against Roody Pierre Paul in December. He is 2-1 in his last three fights.