- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Light heavyweight Eleider Alvarez is going to have to wait a bit longer for his breakout opportunity, but at least the Colombian-born, Montreal-based prospect will still get to fight.
Alvarez, nicknamed “Storm,” had been scheduled to face unbeaten super middleweight contender Thomas Oosthuizen, who was moving up in weight, on Saturday in the HBO-televised co-feature of the Jean Pascal-Lucian Bute light heavyweight showdown at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
It was huge opportunity for Alvarez (13-0, 8 KOs) to get his first significant television exposure against a quality opponent. But then Oosthuizen pulled out of the fight last week. Oosthuizen claimed an injury and co-promoter Rodney Berman, so disgusted because Oosthuizen was reportedly nowhere near weight, released him.
Unable to find a quality opponent on such short notice, Alvarez’s bout was dropped from the HBO broadcast. However, at least the 29-year-old will still fight.
Promoter Yvon Michel did secure a new opponent and Alvarez will face Andrew Gardiner (10-0, 6 KOs), 26, of Ottawa.
You have to feel for Alvarez. Not only did he miss out on the opportunity to be on HBO against Oosthuizen, he also had been scheduled for an ESPN2 card last summer against former title challenger Allan Green only to have the fight canceled the day before because Green missed weight and pulled out claiming to be ill.