Cristobal Arreola sick, can't fight

Updated: February 25, 2013, 11:38 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

The heavyweight world title elimination bout between Cristobal Arreola and Bermane Stiverne was postponed for the third time on Monday because Arreola has bronchitis, promoter Dan Goossen told ESPN.com.

Arreola and Stiverne were scheduled to fight March 9 at The Hangar at the Orange County Fairgrounds & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., as part of an HBO-televised split-site tripleheader. The other part of the show, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., will go on as planned with light heavyweight titlist Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs) defending against former champion Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs) in the main event, along with welterweight prospect Keith Thurman (19-0, 18 KOs) facing former titlist Jan Zaveck (32-2, 18 KOs).

"He got sick over the weekend," Goossen said of Arreola. "We were hoping for a quick recovery but it just didn't happen. He's still out of commission and hasn't gotten any better. For a fight of this magnitude you have to have a healthy fighter.

"He's certainly disappointed. It's a big blow to have to delay it. It is what it is and we'll just reschedule it and go from there."

The winner of Arreola-Stiverne is due to become the mandatory challenger for titleholder Vitali Klitschko.

Goossen said he hopes to reschedule the fight shortly.

"I talked to HBO and, hopefully, within four or five weeks we can get it back on," Goossen said.

Goossen said he informed Don King, Stiverne's promoter, about the postponement earlier Monday.

"I don't think anyone can take this any other way other than disappointment," Goossen said. "We hoped to have this heavyweight fight on March 9, but we've all been around this business long enough to know these things happen."

Goossen said he hopes to keep the rest of the card show at The Hangar intact, including the rematch between junior lightweight titlist Juan Carlos Salgado (26-1-1, 16 KOs) and Argenis Mendez (20-2, 10 KOs).

HBO bought the rights to the fight and planned to air it on Spanish-language HBO Latino before the main network broadcast of the tripleheader. Goossen said he is talking to HBO about putting Salgado-Mendez II on regular HBO to replace the Arreola-Stiverne fight, which would still give the network a tripleheader.

"I'm working with HBO to keep the rest of the show together, including the title fight," Goossen said. "We've got some good fights on the show."

Arreola-Stiverne was originally scheduled to take place Jan. 26 on the undercard of super middleweight champion Andre Ward's title defense against former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik. But the card was postponed to March 2 and later canceled because of Ward's right shoulder injury and subsequent surgery. That left Arreola-Stiverne in limbo until HBO made room for it by turning its March 9 telecast into a split-site card.

Arreola (35-2, 30 KOs), 31, of Riverside, Calif., will be aiming to land his second title shot against Klitschko. As the mandatory challenger in 2009, Arreola faced Klitschko but was stopped in the ninth round of the one-sided fight when his corner threw in the towel. Arreola has not fought since last February, in part because an elbow injury forced him to pull out of a June fight.

Stiverne (22-1-1, 20 KOs), 34, who was born in Haiti and lives in Las Vegas, has not fought since last April.