MIAMI – Julio Cesar Martinez has withdrawn again from his mandated title defense against McWilliams Arroyo, this time two days before they were supposed to fight.
Martinez pulled out of their 12-round, 112-pound title fight Thursday afternoon due to an injury to his right hand, which he revealed in photos posted through his Instagram account. The Martinez-Arroyo fight was supposed to be DAZN’s co-feature Saturday night on the Canelo Alvarez-Avni Yildirim card at Hard Rock Stadium in nearby Miami Gardens.
“Well, more than anything, I want you to know for me, the truth is I am very sad, very disappointed by this, for what has happened to all my people who have always supported me and have always been with me,” Martinez said as part of his Instagram post. “This does not stop the fight [from eventually happening] and I am going to go back to look for that knockout. I apologize to everyone.”
Martinez attended a press conference early Thursday afternoon at the JW Marriott in downtown Miami. Soon thereafter, his handlers informed promoter Eddie Hearn that Martinez couldn’t compete Saturday night.
“I’m ready,” Martinez said during the press conference soon before withdrawing from the fight. “I’m anxious. I was sad about the pandemic and having to cancel a couple of fights. I’m ready to fight whoever, whenever and I’m going in there with everything but fear.”
Mexico’s Martinez (17-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC) first was scheduled to defend his title against Arroyo (20-4, 15 KOs), his mandatory challenger, on August 15 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Martinez withdrew from that main event late in July due to what he explained recently to BoxingScene.com was a gastrointestinal issue.
The 26-year-old Martinez returned to the ring October 23, when he stopped Mexico’s Moises Calleros (33-10-1, 17 KOs) in the ninth round at TV Azteca’s Studios in Mexico City, Martinez’s hometown.
Martinez was supposed to fight again just eight weeks later, on the Alvarez-Callum Smith undercard December 19 at Alamodome in San Antonio. He also withdrew from that optional title defense against Francisco Rodriguez (33-4-1, 24 KOs) due to an undisclosed illness.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.