Heavyweight Oscar Rivas, who has had multiple eye surgeries, including on his right retina in 2011, failed his prefight eye exam, forcing the California State Athletic Commission to decline to license him on Thursday, which forced his fight on Saturday night to be canceled.
Rivas was due to face fellow undefeated big man Gerald Washington in a scheduled 10-round bout at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
The fight was due to open a Showtime-televised tripleheader (10 p.m. ET) headlined by featherweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz (31-0-1, 17 KOs) making his first defense against former junior featherweight titlist Kiko Martinez (35-6, 26 KOs).
Rivas (18-0, 13 KOs), 28, a 2008 Olympian from Colombia who fights out of Montreal, and Washington (16-0-1, 11 KOs), 33, of San Jose, were each stepping up to face the most notable opponent of their careers.
Tom Brown, whose TGB Promotions is promoting the card, told ESPN.com that Rivas had two eye tests on Wednesday, including one by a specialist, but his right eye had issues and the commission made the decision not to license him after seeing the results on Thursday.
"I love the heavyweights. This was going to be a good fight and good test for both of these guys," Brown said. "I feel sorry for Gerald Washington. You train so hard, you accept a fight like this and this happens. That's who I feel for. He was willing to take on an undefeated Olympian."
Washington is a former college football player from the University of Southern California who also spent time with the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills on their practice squads. He did not start boxing until 2012 and is coming off a split draw against Amir Mansour in October. Rivas, with his extensive amateur background, figured to be an even bigger step up than Mansour.
The co-feature is an immediate rematch with junior featherweight titlist Julio Cesar Ceja (30-1, 27 KOs), who knocked out Mexican countryman Hugo Ruiz (35-3, 31 KOs) in the fifth round of an action-packed fight to win the vacant 122-pound belt on Aug. 28.