Rather than wait for the actual fight, former two-division titleholder Zab Judah and opponent Hevinson Herrera got a head start.
The junior welterweights got into an altercation on Wednesday at the weigh-in, resulting in Hevinson claiming he was injured and the fight being canceled.
"I've been doing this for 25 years, and I think I've seen everything there is to see until the next show," promoter Greg Cohen said. "I've seen guys fight at a weigh-in, a press conference, but I've never seen a main event fall apart because they fought at a weigh-in. It's insane. Only in boxing can this nonsense happen."
Cohen recently signed Judah, the former undisputed welterweight champion and a three-time junior welterweight titlist. Judah has not boxed since a decision loss to Paulie Malignaggi in their December 2013 battle for Brooklyn, New York, bragging rights, and he was due to make his comeback on Cohen's card on Thursday night at the Space in Westbury, New York.
Cohen said Judah (42-9, 29 KOs), 37, of New York, and Herrera (18-11-1, 12 KOs), 31, of Colombia, had arrived for the weigh-in, but sparks flew before they stepped on the scale while they were waiting in line with other boxers on the card doing their pre-fight medical forms.
"They were next to each other in line, and Herrera, who doesn't speak a word of English, apparently said something to Judah," Cohen said. "And it ended up with Herrera kind of head-butting Zab, and then Zab punched him. Although most people think he punched him in the chest, Herrera said he got hit in the head, that his head hurts, and the kid said he can't fight, so the doctor said he can't fight."
Cohen said the New York State Athletic Commission told him there would be a disciplinary hearing for the fighters, although Judah, who did weigh in, would be allowed to fight if Cohen could secure a new opponent to weigh in Thursday morning.
"But what are the odds that we'll be able to find somebody who is ready to fight, on weight and is medically cleared by Thursday morning?" Cohen said. "It's unlikely. There's going to be disciplinary hearing for both fighters. Commissioner (Tom) Hoover made it very clear they are not taking this lightly. He was not a happy camper."
Cohen said the rest of the card would go on as scheduled.