- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Heavyweight contender Cristobal Arreola, dealing with a chronic injury to his left elbow area, withdrew Friday from a June 23 fight against Mike Mollo.
Arreola (35-2, 30 KOs), a former world title challenger who is close to getting another opportunity, was scheduled to face Mollo (20-3-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round bout that would open a Showtime tripleheader from the Staples Center in Los Angeles next Saturday (9 p.m. ET).
"He's got an arm injury and it's recurring," Arreola's trainer, Henry Ramirez, told ESPN.com.
"When he gets hit on the glove, it strains the elbow area when he's blocking punches. His arm goes dead. We know it's nothing structural, but it's giving him problems."
With the Arreola bout off, Showtime announced that the Golden Boy-promoted card has been cut to a televised doubleheader headlined by former welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs), in his first fight since being knocked out by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September, facing Josesito Lopez (29-4, 17 KOs), a late substitute for former welterweight titlist Andre Berto. Berto was bounced from the fight after he tested positive for a steroid in a random urine test.
Also on the card, junior welterweight Humberto Soto (59-7-2, 34 KOs) meets Lucas Matthysse (30-2, 28 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout.
For this training camp, Ramirez said Arreola's sparring was cut from three days per week to two days per week in the hopes that less wear and tear on his arm would allow him to go through with the fight.
"But his arm was going dead on him. He said, 'I can't fight with my arm like this,'" Ramirez said. "Chris never pulls out of fights, so we know something is up. What we need to do is treat this thing between fights, not just when it flares up. But it's been flaring up more than it has in the past. Whatever looms for him, be it a title fight with (Wladimir) Klitschko or whatever, we just need to address it. Better to treat it now than to have his arm go dead in the third round of a fight."
It is unclear how long Arreola will be sidelined.
"It's always disappointing when you're a week or so away from the fight and you get injured, but these things happen in boxing," Arreola's promoter, Dan Goossen, said. "It's a rough sport even before you step into the ring on fight night."
In the main fight on the preliminary bout coverage on Showtime Extreme (7 p.m. ET), junior middleweight prospect Jermell Charlo (17-0, 8 KOs) faces Denis Douglin (14-1, 8 KOs) in a scheduled 10-rounder and junior welterweight prospect Omar Figueroa (17-0-1, 14 KOs), faces Alain Hernandez (18-10-2, 10 KOs) in an eight-round bout.