- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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The injury bug rolls on. Bitten this time: junior middleweight Bronco McKart, who was due to face Detroit prospect J’Leon Love on Feb. 23 on a Showtime undercard.
But Golden Boy Promotions announced Wednesday that McKart, a long-faded former 154-pound titleholder, had suffered a rib injury and withdrawn from the fight. Taking McKart’s place against the 25-year-old Love (14-0, 8 KOs) is Derrick Findley (20-8, 13 KOs), 28, of Gary, Ind.
Their scheduled 10-round bout will take place at the Masonic Temple Theatre in Detroit as the co-feature to junior middleweight titleholder Cornelius “K9” Bundrage (32-4, 19 KOs) of Detroit making his third defense, which will come against Ishe Smith (24-5, 11 KOs) of Las Vegas.
This isn’t a very good card, but Findley, in my view, is at least a mild upgrade over the 41-year-old McKart, who hasn’t been a factor for roughly a decade. Findley has won two fights in a row and knocked out Ronald Hearns in the second round in October -- and he is not in his 40s. But the fact that Showtime would even put on Love against McKart or Findley is questionable at best. But remember one thing -- Love is with adviser Al Haymon and he generally gets what he wants.
For those keeping track of the rampant recent injury toll that has impacted premium cable cards so far this year: super middleweight champ Andre Ward hurt his shoulder and his fight with Kelly Pavlik was canceled; Danny Garcia hurt his rib and his junior welterweight title defense against Zab Judah was postponed; Devon Alexander strained a biceps and his welterweight title defense against Kell Brook was postponed for the second time (and was originally postponed to headline the Feb. 23 card); heavyweight Johnathon Banks broke his thumb and his rematch with Seth Mitchell, which was supposed to be Saturday, was postponed; and featherweight Jayson Velez hurt his ankle and had to pull out of a title fight against Daniel Ponce De Leon.