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Maidana backs out of fight for 2nd time

Junior welterweight Marco Maidana's bad back is still giving him problems, forcing him to withdraw for the second time from a much-anticipated fight against titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr. on Monday.

They were supposed to meet June 19, but Argentina's Maidana asked for a postponement in April, and the fight was rescheduled for July 17 at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif., which is not far from Bradley's hometown of Palm Springs.

Now that date is off as well, and Gary Shaw, Bradley's co-promoter with Thompson Boxing, is fuming, especially because he was notified only the day before Agua Caliente was scheduled to host the formal news conference announcing the fight.

Shaw arrived in Rancho Mirage and was just sitting down for a meeting with casino executives to go over details when he got the call from Eric Gomez, a matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions, which handles Maidana.

"I think Maidana is afraid and he's a chicken," Shaw told ESPN.com. "He asked us once to move the fight because of an injury and we said fine, no problem. Now Eric Gomez says he missed his flight and can't make it to the press conference and, oh by the way, he's not taking the fight because he still has back problems."

Shaw then took another shot at Maidana: "I know where the injury came from -- from carrying that opponent [William Gonzalez] for three rounds in Argentina. He must have hurt his back carrying that guy. It's ridiculous.

"We are 24 hours, less, from the press conference. Obviously, Maidana's back wasn't getting better so why not call us and let us know as soon as possible? They didn't know his back was hurting the day before or the day before that? You don't do that. This is what makes boxing a bad business."

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said he understood Shaw's anger but that injuries happen.

"He injured his back and it's still bothering him," Schaefer said. "I was told he can't travel because of it. They're probably going to do further tests on his back. He can't fight. He can't even train. If the guy is injured, he's injured. I am as disappointed as Gary and as disappointed as the fight fans, but it's not really fair to blame Maidana.

"He's not the kind of guy who turns down anyone. It would have been a career-high purse for him. It's not like he's a millionaire. He could use the money. I am sure he's disappointed. Not once did he hesitate taking the fight. I can understand Gary's frustration, but there are no games being played."

Maidana (28-1, 27 KOs) won a vacant interim title by making heralded prospect Victor Ortiz quit in the sixth round last June before knocking out Gonzalez in the third round in November.

Maidana followed that with a sixth-round knockout of previously undefeated Victor Cayo on HBO on March 27, setting the stage for the fight with Bradley (25-0, 11 KOs), who was supposed to make his debut on the network.

Shaw said Agua Caliente still wants Bradley's next fight and he hoped HBO would also keep him on July 17 against a different opponent.