The David Benavidez-Jose Uzcategui fight apparently was just not meant to be. has learned that Uzcategui has tested positive for a banned substance and has been removed from their November 13 bout. The prohibited substance in question is Recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO) which acts like a naturally-occurring endogenous erythropoietin to stimulate erythropoiesis, the process of red blood cell production. It is also used in patients with anemia renal failure, various cancers. 

The substance, however, is on the banned list in boxing due to its use in blood doping to enhance athletic performance, according to various studies.

Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs) and Uzcategui (31-4, 26 KOs) were rescheduled to headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader November 13 from Footprint Center in Phoenix, Benavidez’s hometown.

Matchmakers for Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions were in the process Thursday of trying to find a replacement for Uzcategui for a main event that is scheduled to take place two weeks from Saturday night.

The unbeaten Benavidez, a former WBC super middleweight champ, and Venezuela’s Uzcategui, an ex-IBF 168-pound champ, initially were scheduled to box August 28 at Footprint Center. Their 12-round IBF/WBC elimination match was postponed 2½ months early in August because Benavidez contracted COVID-19 and took a few weeks off from training to recover.

Uzcategui, 30, and Benavidez, 24, both are enrolled in the WBC’s “Clean Boxing Program.” The protocols for the WBC’s program are overseen by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which tested Benavidez and Uzcategui numerous times during their training camps for this ill-fated fight.

Showtime’s telecast November 13 also is set to feature the return of Benavidez’s older brother, Jose Benavidez Jr.

The onetime welterweight contender is scheduled to square off against Argentina’s Francisco Torres (17-3, 5 KOs) in a 10-round junior middleweight match that’ll immediately precede David Benavidez’s bout with an opponent to be determined. Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-1, 18 KOs) will end a three-year layoff versus Torres, as he hasn’t boxed since WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) stopped him in the 12th round of their title fight in October 2018 at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska, Crawford’s hometown.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.