Junior lightweight contender Eloy Perez of Salinas, Calif., who was knocked out in the fourth round challenging titleholder Adrien Broner on Feb. 25 in St. Louis, tested positive for cocaine after the bout, according to his promoter, Golden Boy.
Garcia Boxing, which managed Perez, notified Golden Boy of the positive test this week, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com on Thursday.
"I'm obviously disappointed by this," Schaefer said. "There's no excuse and nothing more you can say. It's not good."
The Monterey (Calif.) Herald reported Wednesday that Garcia Boxing, which had guided Perez into a mandatory position for a shot at Broner's 130-pound title, had released Perez from his contract on Monday but did not give a reason.
"Due to pending matters, we are not at liberty to discuss his personal and professional conduct," Kathy Garcia told the paper.
"It's not good for the sport, but most important, it is not good for Eloy Perez," Schaefer said. "You're not talking about a performance-enhancing drug. You're talking about cocaine. I feel bad for Eloy and his family. This is something he will have to deal with and need help with. We wish him the best."
Schaefer said he has not yet thought about Perez's promotional situation.
"We haven't addressed yet if we are going to release him or not," he said. "First and foremost, I just feel bad for Eloy and his family because this is a serious issue. I'm sure fight fans are concerned about this as well."
Perez faces a possible license suspension pending the outcome of a hearing by the Missouri Department of Professional Registration, which oversees boxing in the state. Missouri officials declined comment. Perez would have the right to appeal any disciplinary action.
"In response to your question regarding Eloy Perez, drug test results, like other information regarding licensees, are confidential," public information officer David Owen told ESPN.com via email. "Therefore, the office of athletics has no public or open information in response to this inquiry."
Perez (23-1-2, 7 KOs), 25, earned the world title shot by winning 15 fights in a row since a draw in 2007. But he was overmatched against Broner (23-0, 19 KOs) from the opening bell of the HBO fight.
Broner's size, speed and power advantages were obvious as he hurt Perez at the end of the second round. In the fourth round, Broner landed a flush straight right hand to Perez's face and another right hand to the head as he going down. Perez tried to get to his feet, but was so unsteady that he fell to the canvas twice more, forcing referee Geno Rodriguez to stop the fight.
Perez could not be reached for comment.