- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Junior middleweight Joel "Love Child" Julio, who hasn't fought since last May, was supposed to return against Gabriel Rosado on June 1 at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa. It looked like a good, even fight on paper.
Now it's off after Julio withdrew on Thursday. According to Main Events promoter Kathy Duva, Julio is not injured.
"He didn't feel he'd be ready," said Duva, who is exasperated with Julio. "When I heard that, I didn't have time to sit there and debate. I said, 'Let's find another guy.'"
Julio (37-4, 31 KOs) did have a reasonable excuse when he pulled out of a January fight, after his mother and sister were in a car accident in their native Colombia. But this time it just seems that the 2005 ESPN.com prospect of the year doesn't have much interest in fighting.
Main Events wasted no time finding a solid replacement in fringe contender Sechew Powell (26-4, 15 KOs), a southpaw, who will now face Philadelphia's Rosado (19-5, 11 KOs) -- who wasn't training for a left-hander -- in a scheduled 12-rounder in the main event of NBC Sports Net's "Fight Night."
Powell, of Brooklyn, N.Y., at least has a reasonable amount of time to prepare. He has been in training camp as a sparring partner for Delvin Rodriguez, who is getting ready for a junior middleweight title bout against Austin Trout on June 2.
"I'm happy to get this opportunity," said Powell, who has lost two in a row -- a title fight to Cornelius "K9" Bundrage followed by a title eliminator to former titlist Cory Spinks. "My passion to become champion is stronger than ever, and that will show on June 1. Gabriel Rosado and I are both top-10 ranked contenders [in the alphabet organizations]. After this fight, one of us will be moving up the rankings -- and it won't be him."
Rosado has looked very good during a five-fight winning streak, including a fifth-round knockout of Jesus Soto Karass in the main event of the "Fight Night" card in January that Julio withdrew from.
"I was looking forward to fighting Julio because I know he comes to fight," Rosado said. "With Powell, it's a different story. He's a lefty and he presents other problems for me; he's tricky, awkward and defensive. He picks his spots and gives you angles."