Illness forces Miranda out of title fight

Super middleweight Edison Miranda, ill with the flu and suffering from a nasal infection, withdrew Monday from his bout with titlist Robert Stieglitz, which was scheduled for Jan. 9 in Magdeburg, Germany, Miranda co-promoter Dan Goossen told ESPN.com.

"He's been sick, a combination of the flu with a severe nasal infection," Goossen said. "He's been fighting it and fighting it. It's just has been an uphill battle and [Monday] we met with him and he just looks terrible, and certainly weak. He's just not capable of being ready for Jan. 9. It's a terrible blow to all of us. He was devastated when reality hit and he knew he couldn't fight."

Stieglitz (36-2, 22 KOs), born in Russia but living in Magdeburg, would have been making the first defense of the 168-pound belt he won in August by stopping Hungary's Karoly Balzsay in the 11th round.

Whether Stieglitz's handlers will find a new opponent or try to reschedule the fight with Miranda has not been determined.

"If they're up to rescheduling it we'd love to follow through on the fight when Edison is healthy," said Goossen, who co-promotes Miranda with Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing. "If they're not interested in rescheduling, we'll get him back in the ring when he's healthy and try to get him another title shot."

Miranda has fought when he was ill before, but this time it was just too much, Goossen said.

"If he was less than perfect he would overcome it, but he was less than 50 percent," Goossen said. "You can't put any fighter in that position, and he understood it."

Miranda (33-4, 29 KOs), 28, a native of Colombia who lives in Puerto Rico and trains with Joe Goossen (Dan's brother) in California, would have been in his second title bout.

He challenged for a middleweight belt in 2005, also in Germany, and lost a controversial decision to Arthur Abraham.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.