Chavez Jr. on a mission
• The March 2 welterweight elimination bout between David Estrada and Walter Matthysse is off. The were supposed to meet in Philadelphia to determine the mandatory challenger for beltholder Kermit Cintron, but Estrada got sick, which disrupted his training and forced him to pull out, according to matchmaker Eric Gomez of Golden Boy, which promotes Matthysse. "They e-mailed us a doctor's note," Gomez said. "He's sick and can't be ready for the fight."
• Israel "Pito" Cardona (36-6, 28 KOs) came out of a 3½-year retirement last year. The reason was to get a high-profile fight. After two wins on the comeback trail, Cardona got it, a fight against former undisputed welterweight champ Zab Judah on April 27 (ESPN2) in Southaven, Miss. Cardona, who owns victories against Ivan Robinson and Golden Johnson, lost a lopsided decision to Paul Spadafora when they met for a vacant lightweight belt in 1999. Now, Cardona, 32, has a chance with Judah, and he hopes to make the most of it. "I know I'm taking a big chance," said Cardona, works nights for a security company in Hartford, Conn. "I'm fighting a former world champion. I could have continued doing what I've been doing, waiting around for fights and hoping for a break, or jump right into a fight like this where a win will get me right back into the top 10. Hey, I only have a few years left and we decided to make the most out of this fight. I've got the right team behind me now and I have three months to get ready."
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