- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Lightweight titlist Richar Abril suffered a right ankle injury during training this week, forcing him to withdraw from next week's title defense against Jorge Linares, Akemi Irie of Teiken Boxing, Linares' co-promoter, told ESPN.com.
Abril was to defend his 135-pound world title against former featherweight and junior lightweight titleholder Linares on Nov. 10 in Tokyo, where Linares, a Venezuela native, has lived for several years.
"[Abril] is definitely out," Irie said. "We are trying to work out a 10-round [nontitle] fight for Linares."
Abril (18-3-1, 8 KOs), 31, a Cuba native living in Miami, was due to make his second title defense. He made his first defense in March, winning a unanimous decision against Sharif Bogere in Las Vegas.
The 28-year-old Linares (34-3, 22 KOs) was seeking to win a world title in a third weight division. He won a featherweight world title in 2007 and defended it once before vacating it to move up in weight. He won a junior lightweight belt in 2008 and made one successful defense before being upset via first-round knockout by Juan Carlos Salgado in 2009.
Linares rebounded with four wins in a row but then got knocked out twice in a row, a bloody 11th-round stoppage to Antonio DeMarco for a vacant lightweight belt in 2011 and a second-round stunner against Sergio Thompson in 2012. Linares has won three fights in a row since those upsets, setting himself up for the shot at Abril.
It has not been determined if the fight with Abril will be rescheduled.
Next week's card is headlined by bantamweight titleholder Shinsuke Yamanaka (19-0-2, 14 KOs) of Japan defending his belt against Alberto Guevara (18-1, 6 KOs) of Mexico.
Former junior lightweight titlist Takahiro Ao (24-3-1, 11 KOs) of Japan is also on the card in a lightweight bout against Edgar Lomeli (14-3-2, 8 KOs) of Mexico, and junior lightweight titleholder Roman Gonzalez (36-0, 30 KOs) of Nicaragua is slated to face Mexico's Oscar Blanquet (32-6-1, 23 KOs) in a nontitle bout at flyweight.