Arash Usmanee (ankle) out of FNF
Junior lightweight contender Arash Usmanee suffered an ankle injury and withdrew Sunday from his upcoming bout against Juan Antonio Rodriguez.
The scheduled 10-round bout was scheduled to headline this week's "Friday Night Fights" card on ESPN2 at the Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino in Tacoma, Wash. However, Usmanee hurt his ankle sparring this weekend and was forced to withdraw, according to the network.
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While the co-feature is still intact and includes junior welterweight Zahir Raheem (34-3, 21 KOs) squaring off with Bayan Jargal (17-4-3, 11 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout, the main event is being reworked. It is possible that a new opponent will be brought in to face Mexico's Rodriguez (25-4, 23 KOs), who is riding a four-fight winning streak since suffering a 10-round unanimous decision loss to former featherweight titlist Billy Dib in July 2012.
If a suitable opponent cannot be found to face Rodriguez on short notice, it is possible that former cruiserweight contender Lateef Kayode (19-0, 15 KOs), who moved up to heavyweight for his last fight in December after 18 months out of the ring, will be switched from the undercard into the main event against an opponent to be determined.
Usmanee, born in Afghanistan and fighting out of Montreal, lost a heavily disputed decision to Rances Barthelemy in a junior lightweight title elimination bout last January on "Friday Night Fights" but wound up getting a title shot anyway against Argenis Mendez in August only to have Mendez retain the belt on a draw.
Usmanee (20-1-1, 10 KOs) was hoping a good performance against Rodriguez would propel him into a rematch with Barthelemy, who won the title by knocking out Mendez in the second round on Friday night.
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