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Thursday, December 13, 2012
Texas board KOs Poonsawat bout

By Dan Rafael
ESPN.com

HOUSTON -- Junior featherweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux's title defense against Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym was canceled on Thursday after Kratingdaenggym failed a prefight medical exam given by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

The fight was due to take place Saturday night at the Toyota Center as the co-feature to the HBO card (9:30 ET) headlined by junior featherweight titleholder Nonito Donaire's defense against former titlist Jorge Arce and also including the delayed broadcast of Juan Manuel Marquez's shocking sixth-round knockout of Manny Pacquiao in the HBO PPV main event last week.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com that Kratingdaenggym (48-2, 33 KOs), a former titleholder from Thailand, failed a blood test on Wednesday night and then failed again when the test was readministered on Thursday.

The exact problem with his blood was not disclosed, although it was not for performance-enhancing drugs, Arum said.

"The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation notified us (Thursday) that they would not issue a license to Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym," Arum said. "I feel very badly for both fighters, who trained very hard. Top Rank's matchmakers are working with HBO to returning Guillermo back to the ring as soon as possible."

Arum said after Top Rank was notified that the fight was off, it spoke to Rigondeaux manager Gary Hyde and Hyde's attorney, Pat English.

"I must say they took it very well," Arum said. "We're going to try to get Rigondeaux back in the ring at the earliest possible time, which looks like sometime in February. This stuff is part of the business. It's unfortunate, but we have to be professional about and understand that's why you have medical doctors overlooking this, so the right decisions are made."

Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs), a two-time Olympic champion and a Cuban defector, was due to make his third title defense.

The 32-year-old Kratingdaenggym won a version of the 122-pound world title in September 2009, going to Ireland and knocking out hometown titleholder Bernard Dunne in the third round. Kratingdaenggym made two title defenses before losing a unanimous decision in Japan to Ryol Li Lee in October 2010.

Kratingdaenggym won his next seven fights to land the shot at Rigondeaux for the belt he once held.