Whenever former light heavyweight and cruiserweight titlist Zsolt Erdei is scheduled for a fight, you should know by know what comes next -- that he most likely will pull out of the bout.
So when Erdei was scheduled to face Elvir Muriqi on Jan. 31 in an ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” main event in East Orange, N.J., you should have expected what would happen.
On Friday, the other shoe dropped and Erdei withdrew from the scheduled 10-round light heavyweight bout. Erdei has pulled out of other fights in recent years.
His reason this time? The old standby -- “personal issues.”
Promoter Lou DiBella is looking for a replacement opponent to face Muriqi and told ESPN.com that Muriqi (40-5, 24 KOs) will probably face 27-year-old Australian southpaw Blake Caparello (18-0, 6 KOs), whom DiBella said he is close to signing.
Caparello, who has never fought outside of Australia, owns a 2012 decision win against Aaron Pryor Jr. In his last fight, Caparello outpointed former contender Allan Green on Oct. 17 (the second fight in a row Green failed to make weight for).
As for Erdei (33-1, 18 KOs), 39, of Hungary, he has been very inactive, in part because he has pulled out of fights and was also in a brief retirement. He fought only once each in 2010 and 2011 and didn’t fight at all in 2012. In 2013, he suffered his first loss, a split decision to Denis Grachev in the semifinals of the Monaco Super Four tournament.
“[Erdei] said he had family issues, but this [pulling out of fights] has been an issue with him,” said DiBella, Erdei’s promoter. “It puts his career in doubt. He’s done this before, multiple times the past couple of years. I think the replacement is going to be Caparello. I’m signing him. He throws a lot of punches, gives a lot of angles and is a good boxer. He also has some solid wins.”