WBC flyweight world titleholder Julio Cesar Martinez has withdrawn from his fight against mandatory challenger McWilliams Arroyo because of a hand injury, Matchroom Boxing announced Thursday.
The fight was scheduled to take place on Saturday's Canelo Alvarez-Avni Yildirim card at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
Abraham Rodriguez will step in for Martinez as a last-minute replacement and fight Arroyo in a 12-round bout for the WBC interim flyweight title, sources told ESPN. The fight still needs to be approved by the local commission on Friday.
Martinez said in an Instagram post Thursday that he suffered a small fracture in his right hand during a recent sparring session. He said he continued to train with the hope the injury would not get worse, but aggravated it this week while hitting mitts, causing his hand to swell.
"More than anything I want you to learn this from me," Martinez said in the post. "The truth is I am very sad, very disappointed for this, what is happening."
The injury, according to Martinez, could take three to four weeks to heal. Martinez also said he was willing to fight, but the doctor who examined him told him that he ran the risk of injuring his ligaments. Martinez said his hand is now in a cast and that his doctor gave him instructions to rest for at least a week and not hit with his right hand for a month.
"I'm going to get back and look for that knockout victory," Martinez said in his post. "I apologize to everyone, I feel very bad emotionally. Sorry to all of you and more importantly I'm sorry for my team. We are going to return better than ever -- I swear. We will be back to win all the belts."