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Jose Pedraza vs Mikkel LesPierre bout cancelled after positive COVID-19 test

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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The fight between former WBO lightweight champion Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza 26-3 (13) and Mikkel ‘Slikk Mikk’ LesPierre 22-1-1 (10) has been cancelled after LesPierre’s manager Jose Taveras tested positive for COVID-19.

The fight was set to headline tonight’s Top Rank card on ESPN at ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The lightweight bout between Gabriel Flores Jr 17-0 (6) and Josec Ruiz 21-2-3 (14) has been elevated to the main event.

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“My manager, Jose Taveras, tested positive for COVID-19,” LesPierre said. “Due to the rules and regulations set forth by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, I will be unable to fight tonight as scheduled against Jose Pedraza.

“I understand the severity of COVID-19 because I have been working on the front lines of helping treat this virus at Mount Sinai Beth Israel—Petrie Division in Manhattan.

“I am devastated. This was my opportunity to showcase my talent to the world, but everything happens for a reason. This is just another roadblock in my story.

“I apologize to Jose and his team for any inconvenience this caused. He is a great boxer, and I hope we can reschedule the fight as soon as possible.”

Boxing returned to Las Vegas last week with strict testing protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The bouts have been taking place without a live audience and a bare minimum of officials, cornermen and broadcast staff in attendance.

Taveras expressed his regret that the positive test cost his boxer a high-profile fight.

“I apologize for the inconvenience this caused,” Taveras said. “I am not exhibiting any symptoms. I am looking forward to hopefully rescheduling this fight as soon as possible. I am devastated for Mikkel.”

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