It's boxing's version of the old switcheroo.
On Friday night in Hinckley, Minnesota, Canadian lightweight Tony Luis was scheduled to face Tennessee journeyman Ira Terry in an eight-round bout, and Venezuela's Ismael Barroso was due to challenge England's Derry Mathews for a vacant interim lightweight title Saturday night in Liverpool, England.
Barroso, already a late substitute for ill Richar Abril, who pulled out against Mathews and was stripped of his world title, could not get his visa processed in time. So promoter Greg Cohen, who represents Luis and Barroso, worked out a switch with Mathews promoter Frank Warren.
Now Barroso (17-0-2, 16 KOs) will face Terry (26-13, 16 KOs) in the co-feature on Cohen's CBS Sports Network-televised card Friday night at the Grand Casino Hinckley and Luis (19-2, 7 KOs) is headed to the Echo Arena in Liverpool to fight Mathews (37-9-2, 20 KOs) in his hometown for the interim belt.
"It worked out well for everyone," Cohen said. "Tony Luis was high enough in the ratings and ready to fight, so he's one of the few fighters in the world who could have stepped into this important fight on such short notice. And fortunately he is a GCP fighter as well, so we made it happen quickly and he is on his way to the U.K. as we speak.
"Tony gets his dream shot at a world championship, and the fans in Hinckley, and on CBS Sports Network, will get their first look at one of the most fearsome punchers in boxing, Ismael Barroso. So it seems that everyone wins in this unique situation."
Said Mathews: "It's obviously not ideal preparing for three different opponents in one camp, but regardless I will still be capturing a version of the world title this weekend and in my home city and making my life dream come true. I've prepared for three different styles, so anything he brings shouldn't be too much of a surprise.
"Luis is a decent operator and was already in camp, but I thank him on taking up this opportunity and keeping my dream alive."