Hugo Centeno Jr. injured; fight vs. Jermall Charlo postponed

Middleweight contender Hugo Centeno Jr. suffered a rib injury in training and his fight with Jermall Charlo for a vacant interim middleweight world title was postponed on Friday.

Centeno and Charlo were scheduled to fight March 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in the co-feature of a Showtime-televised tripleheader headlined by Deontay Wilder's heavyweight title defense against Luis "King Kong" Ortiz.

That card will now be a doubleheader, but because Centeno's injury is not serious, the fight was rescheduled for April 21 at a site to be determined, but it is likely to be at Barclays Center.

The fight will remain on Showtime, which announced it has expanded the April 21 card, which is topped by the Adrien Broner-Omar Figueroa Jr. junior welterweight title eliminator, into a tripleheader. The card also includes former junior lightweight titlist Gervonta Davis, who probably will face former featherweight titlist Jesus Cuellar.

"I'm devastated," Centeno said. "I've been in the gym for a long time. Being so close to a fight and accomplishing my dream of a world title, it's devastating. It happened during sparring.

"I tried to work through the pain, and as the day progressed and the adrenaline subsided, I had to go to the ER and get checked out. It's a good enough injury that it had to be postponed. Nothing was broken, but it was severe enough to keep me from fighting. I was just about to peak. Now I have to taper off a bit and cut back to let my body recover and then pick it up and get some momentum back."

Centeno (26-1, 14 KOs), 27, of Oxnard, California, is seeking his third win a row since being stopped in the 10th round by undefeated Polish contender Maciej Sulecki in June 2016.

Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs), 27, of Houston, is a former junior middleweight world titleholder who is moving up in weight to fight Centeno for the interim belt that will make the winner a mandatory challenger for the winner of the May 5 rematch between unified world champion Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez. Charlo was also disappointed by the postponement.

"I'm ready to go," Charlo said. "I'm 167 pounds right now [for a fight at 160], and this was the best camp I've ever had. I'm so disappointed. I'm at a loss for words. When you want something so bad and you don't get it, you can't be a kid about it. You just have to deal with it.

"I'm hungry and I'm ready to get back in the ring. I'm still coming to the fight though. I'm going be there to support Deontay. I love Barclays Center and all my fans in Brooklyn."

Stephen Espinoza, the president of Showtime Sports, was happy that the fight could be rescheduled so quickly.

"While the injury to Centeno is unfortunate, we're pleased to have the flexibility to keep the Charlo-Centeno fight on our 2018 boxing schedule," Espinoza said.