JERWIN Ancajas' defense of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight crown on Saturday in California (Sunday, Manila time) has been shelved after challenger Jonathan Rodriguez of Mexico pulled out at the last minute.
Rodriguez reportedly had problems securing a US visa and failed to complete his medical requirements for the 12-round title match, prompting promoter Top Rank to cancel the fight altogether.
Trainer Joven Jimenez confirmed the development to SPIN.ph from Carson, California on Friday, although the Ancajas camp hasn't been officially informed of the reason behind the last-minute pullout.
In an official statement later, Top Rank said Rodriguez did encounter visa issues that led to the cancellation of the main card scheduled at the Dignity Health Sports Park.
Top Rank is reportedly looking to reschedule the fight on Dec. 7 as Manny Pacquiao (MP) Promotions President Sean Gibbons is set to meet with Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum regarding the new date for the bout.
Ancajas, who is making the eighth defense of the belt he won in 2016, took to Facebook and apologized for the postponement of the fight.
"Salamat po sa sumusuporta sa Team Ancajas. Humihingi po kami ng pasensya at hindi po matuloy ang laban ko. Hindi ko alam anong dahilan ng camp Rodriguez," he wrote in his FB account.
"Ganoon pa man, pasalamat pa rin kami sa lahat ng sumusuporta sa amin. Siguro may mas magandang plano ang Panginoon kung bakit hindi natuloy ang laban. Muli maraming salamat po."
Ancajas (31-1, 21 KOs) and his team have been in Carson, California since Oct. 18.