<
>

Gary Russell Jr.-Oscar Escandon bout canceled

Featherweight titleholder Gary Russell Jr. suffered a cut during a training session Monday, forcing his defense against Oscar Escandon, scheduled for Nov. 14, to be called off Tuesday.

Russell was due to make his first defense against Escandon at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in the main event of a Showtime-televised card.

"The network was informed earlier [Monday] that Gary sustained a cut in training and is unable to fight," Showtime spokesman Chris DeBlasio told ESPN.com. "Of course we are sorry to hear this and we are evaluating our options for the Nov. 14 show. We expect to have an announcement in the next couple of days."

The network is working on keeping the card alive and is considering downgrading it from a "Showtime Championship Boxing" telecast to its prospect-oriented series, "ShoBox: The New Generation."

The originally scheduled co-feature fits that bill, as junior middleweights Frank Galarza (17-0-2, 11 KOs), 30, of Brooklyn, New York, and Jarrett Hurd (16-0, 25 KOs), 25, of Accokeek, Maryland, are scheduled to go at it in a 10-round bout.

Russell (26-1, 15 KOs), 27, a 2008 U.S. Olympian from Capitol Heights, Maryland, won a 126-pound world title March 28 in Las Vegas by one-sided fourth-round knockout of Mexico's Jhonny Gonzalez.

Escandon (24-2, 16 KOs), 31, of Colombia, was due to move up to 126 pounds from the 122-pound junior featherweight division to challenge Russell, the prohibitive favorite.

It has not been determined whether Russell-Escandon will be rescheduled.