Entire card off after Rijker ruptures Achilles tendon

Updated: July 21, 2005, 7:32 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

The long-awaited showdown between bitter rivals Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker was called off Wednesday because of an injury to Rijker.

Rijker ruptured her left Achilles tendon while training, saying she heard a "loud popping sound" and felt a sharp pain. Rijker underwent surgery Thursday.

The junior welterweight pay-per-view fight was supposed to be held on July 30 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, but the whole card is off, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said.

Arum said he was unsure if the fight would be rescheduled because Rijker will be out of action for "a minimum of four months, but probably as long as six or seven."

Top Rank spokesman Bill Caplan said the 90-minute operation, performed by Tony Daly, "was very successful and the prognosis is good for recovery."

"She'll be wearing a hard cast for a month and a half, then a brace and will be rehabbing for another two and a half months," Caplan told The Associated Press. "If everything goes well, she then will return to the gym to train."

The injury was a complete rupture of the tendon approximately 1½ inches above Rijker's heel, Caplan said.

The cancellation also impacts 2000 U.S. Olympian Brian Viloria, who was supposed to get a title shot against junior flyweight title holder Eric Ortiz of Mexico on the undercard.

Arum put together Rijker-Martin hoping to capitalize on the success of the Oscar-winning movie "Million Dollar Baby," in which Rijker had a role.

He dubbed the fight "Million Dollar Lady" and guaranteed Martin (46-3-2, 31 KOs) and Rijker (17-0, 14 KOs) $250,000 apiece. The winner, however, was to receive an additional $750,000, making the winner the first female boxer to earn a $1 million purse.

Rijker and Martin, both 37, have been on a collision course for years. They've spat insults at each other, traded barbs in the press and got into a physical altercation at a news conference a few years ago. But their obvious showdown never materialized until Arum put the chance for the big payday on the table.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.