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Magdaleno, Rees bouts off

11/27/2012
A hand injury sidelined junior lightweight contender Diego Magdaleno, right, from his Dec. 7 bout. Chris Farina/Top Rank

Two fights involving world title contenders were called off Tuesday for medical reasons.

• Junior lightweight contender Diego Magdaleno (23-0, 9 KOs), who was supposed to headline a Dec. 7 Top Rank card on Azteca America at Texas Station Casino in his hometown of Las Vegas, has withdrawn because of a hand injury.

Pat Barry, Magdaleno's trainer, told Top Rank that Magdaleno has pain in his left hand/wrist area. Top Rank spokesman Lee Samuels told ESPN.com that Magdaleno's pain has "been intense the last few days." He said Magdaleno is scheduled for an MRI on his hand on Tuesday.

Magdaleno, who did not have an opponent yet, will be replaced in the main event by 23-year-old welterweight prospect Jessie Vargas (20-0, 9 KOs) of Las Vegas. Vargas, who was originally scheduled to be on the Dec. 8 Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez untelevised undercard, will face Vito Gasparyan (14-2-5, 8 KOs) of Glendale, Calif.

• Former junior welterweight titlist Gavin Rees (37-1-1, 18 KOs) of Wales -- who dropped down in weight in 2010 and is now one of the top 10 lightweight contenders -- was supposed to face England's John Murray on Dec. 8 in London. However, promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport announced that Murray (31-2, 18 KOs) failed a pre-fight medical exam, forcing the fight to be canceled. Details of the reasons for Murray's failed exam were not disclosed.

Hearn said he would now focus his attention to getting Rees a world title opportunity in 2013.

"Obviously, it's disappointing to lose the Rees versus Murray fight, but as always, boxers' safety is paramount," Hearn said. "For Gavin, we will now [try] make the WBA title fight with Richard Abril for early 2013."