Former four-division titleholder Erik Morales, the faded Mexican star, suffered a right hand injury in training and has postponed his welterweight fight with Jorge Paez Jr. scheduled for March 22 in Monterrey, Mexico, Zanfer Promotions announced on Monday.
Morales was told by his doctor that he needed to rest his hand for at least four weeks.
Morales, who said he had already been training for eight weeks for the bout with Paez, the son of former featherweight titlist Jorge Paez Sr., was upset to have to postpone the fight.
Zanfer Promotions said that Paez would still fight in the main event and that a new opponent was being lined up. Paez (37-4-1, 22 KOs), 26, of Mexico, could face Breidis Prescott (27-5, 20 KOs), 30, of Colombia, who is best known for knocking out England's Amir Khan in just 54 seconds in a major upset in 2008.
Morales (52-9, 36 KOs), 37, is well past his best days, although he intends to reschedule the bout with Paez. Morales, who has won titles at junior featherweight, featherweight, junior lightweight and junior welterweight, has lost three of his last four fights and has not fought since October 2012, when he suffered a harrowing fourth-round knockout loss in a rematch with junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Before the knockout loss to Garcia, Morales failed multiple pre-fight USADA-conducted random drug tests. He tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol but the New York State Athletic Commission allowed the fight to go forward. After the fight, Morales was banned by USADA, but the punishment carries no weight in Mexico, where Morales is free to fight.
Zanfer also announced the March 22 co-feature: strawweight titlist Merlito Sabillo (23-0-1, 12 KOs), 30, of the Philippines, will make his third defense when he squares off with Francisco Rodriguez (13-2, 9 KOs), 20, of Mexico.