Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Omar Henry off 'ShoBox' card
By Dan Rafael
Prospect Omar Henry, who already had two different opponents and switched weight classes for a scheduled fight Friday night in the main event of promoter Don King's "ShoBox: The New Generation" card on Showtime, dropped out of the fight Wednesday.
Henry was hospitalized Tuesday because of a case of gallstones.
"Omar is in the hospital for gallstones at the Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale," Don King Productions vice president Alan Hopper said. "He arrived in Florida on Tuesday. He said he went for a jog, felt pain and returned to the hotel and said a friend said his eyes looked yellow, so he went to the emergency room. He's under observation. I spoke to him from the hospital. He was medicated and a little loopy, but upset about the fight. It's not good at all."
In a statement, Henry said, "I went for a run and began to experience strong pains. I went to the hospital. There is no way I can fight."
The heavy-handed Henry (12-0-1, 9 KOs), fighting out of Oakland, Calif., was originally supposed to fight James De La Rosa in a junior middleweight fight in the main event of Friday's card (Showtime, 11 p.m. ET/PT) at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. After De La Rosa pulled out, Henry wanted to fight at middleweight instead and was matched with Juan Ubaldo Cabrera (20-0, 14 KOs) of the Dominican Republic.
Now Henry is off the show entirely. The original co-feature -- a scheduled 10-round lightweight bout between Miami-based Cuban prospect Angelo Santana (13-0, 10 KOs) and Juan Garcia (13-0, 8 KOs) of Holland, Mich. -- will move into the main event position.
To round out the televised doubleheader, the scheduled 10-round junior middleweight fight between South Florida ticket-seller Joey "Twinkle Fingers" Hernandez (22-1-1, 13 KOs) and James Winchester (15-5, 5 KOs) of Greensboro, N.C., originally not scheduled to be televised, will move up to the opening TV slot.
"I'm glad my fight will be seen on Showtime," said Hernandez, 28, who has won seven consecutive fights. "Now people around the country will see why I have gained so many fans in South Florida. Winchester says he's ready to fight but this is going to be over within three rounds."
Winchester, 34, lost decisions when he faced prospects Glen Tapia and Matvey Korobov. He is coming off an eight-round decision loss to fringe contender Michael Medina on Sept. 15.
"I didn't come to lose, I came to win," Winchester said. "I am fighting a guy called 'Twinkle Fingers.' I can't believe that. When I get done with him, he's going to be 'Twinkle Toes.' All he's got is a mouth. I come from the street and I don't play. You'll see what I mean on Friday."
Santana, 24, was a two-time national champion in Cuba before defecting to Miami to follow his girlfriend, Anay (now his wife), and dreams of winning a world title.
Garcia, 30, has pulled two upsets in his past four fights. Last November, he outpointed undefeated and favored William Jackson in a six-round bout. In March, Garcia claimed an eight-round split decision against heavily favored Cuban amateur standout Yordenis Ugas.
King was pleased that Showtime decided to go through with the show after losing the main event.
"I want to commend Showtime executives Stephen Espinoza and Gordon Hall for being visionaries and stepping up and adding Joey Hernandez and James Winchester to their telecast," King said. "'ShoBox' is designed for the new generation of boxers, and I feel better knowing fans are still going to see an exciting doubleheader on Showtime."