Welterweight Ray Robinson hurt his back in a car crash last week and has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming fight against undefeated Dmitry Mikhaylenko.
Robinson, the underdog, was slated to face Mikhaylenko in a scheduled 10-round bout that was to serve as the co-feature to the rematch between unified light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev and former world champion Jean Pascal on Jan. 30 (HBO, 9:45 p.m. ET/PT) at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Hall of Fame promoter and matchmaker Russell Peltz, Robinson's promoter, told ESPN.com that Robinson hurt his back when his car was rear-ended after he left the gym following a training session this past Tuesday.
"He hurt his back. He's in pain even when he tries to sit down," Peltz said. "It's a real bummer. This was a big fight for Ray."
Peltz and Main Events, which promotes Kovalev and Mikhaylenko, did not find out about the crash until Monday morning.
Peltz said Robinson and his manager, Tom Moran, did not tell anyone immediately because Robinson hoped to be able to work through his aches and pains and still fight. "They thought he would get better, but he didn't," Peltz said.
Robinson (20-2, 9 KOs), 29, a southpaw from Philadelphia, was aiming for his 10th consecutive victory since suffering back-to-back decision losses to former titleholder Shawn Porter (2010) and undefeated Brad Solomon in (2009).
If anything, the delay in notifying Main Events about the crash cost matchmaker Jolene Mizzone and HBO valuable time in their attempt to find a suitable replacement for Robinson.
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said Mikhaylenko (20-0, 9 KOs), 29, of Russia, who fights in the same Egis Klimas managerial stable as Kovalev and featherweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko, will remain on the card if a suitable replacement can be found.
Mikhaylenko scored his biggest win in August when he knocked out former interim junior welterweight titlist Johan Perez in the eighth round. He also owns wins against Sechew Powell and Ronald Cruz.