The heavyweight matchup between undefeated contenders Gerald Washington(16-0-1, 11KO) and Oscar Rivas(18-0, 13KO) has been scrapped from Saturday night’s fight card taking place in Anaheim, California due to a failed pre-fight eye exam by Rivas.
The cancellation can be seen as a huge blow to both Rivas and Washington who were both hoping to use this fight as a chance to make a statement in front of a television audience.
Both fighters represented a step up in competition to each other compared to their previous opposition and the feeling going into the fight was that one would distinguish themselves from the clutter and become a player in the reinvigorated heavyweight division.
Rivas has already had multiple eye surgeries in his young career, which can be credited for his slower than usual professional development, including surgery on his right retina in 2011.
The 28-year-old former Olympian was given two separate eye tests on Wednesday conducted by specialists working with the California State Athletic Commission said Tom Brown, whose Promotional company TGB is promoting the card. Brown told ESPN.com that Rivas’ right eye had issues and the commission made the decision to not permit him a license after seeing the results on Thursday.
“I love the heavyweights. This was going to be a good fight and good test for both of these guys,” Brown said. “I feel sorry for Gerald Washington. You train so hard, you accept a fight like this and this happens. That’s who I feel for. He was willing to take on an undefeated Olympian.”
The fight was scheduled to open a tripleheader aired on Showtime followed by the junior featherweight rematch between Julio Cesar Ceja and Hugo Ruiz, then headlined by WBA 126 pound champion Leo Santa Cruz defending his title against Kiko Martinez.
The Showtime card will go on as a doubleheader.