Forbes-Bojado added to Pacquiao-Barrera II undercard
Former junior lightweight titlist Steve Forbes, the runner-up on the second season of "The Contender" reality series, and one-time top prospect Francisco "Panchito" Bojado won't see the work they've done in their training camps go to waste after all.The junior welterweights had been scheduled to fight Saturday night on the HBO PPV "Fireworks" card headlined by junior lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez's first defense against Rocky Juarez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. However, the card was canceled last Friday night because a cut on Marquez's knuckle became infected and led to severe swelling, leaving him unable to fight. On Monday night, Forbes (32-5, 9 KOs) and Bojado (18-2, 12 KOs) had their bout rescheduled. The fight will be added to the Oct. 6 HBO PPV card headlined by the rematch between junior lightweight stars Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera, which will take place down the Las Vegas strip at Mandalay Bay, the MGM's sister resort. Golden Boy Promotions, the firm headed by Oscar De La Hoya, was the lead promoter for the canceled card and is the co-promoter for the Oct. 6 card. It is putting Forbes-Bojado into one of its slots on the four-fight pay-per-view broadcast and removing junior lightweight prospect and 2004 Olympian Vicente Escobedo, who did not yet have an opponent. "All of the people at Golden Boy acted like total gentlemen. They worked hard to find a spot for the fight," promoter Jeff Wald of "The Contender" told ESPN.com. "I give a lot of credit to them. Golden Boy has worked hard since the show was canceled and we're very grateful to them for finding a spot for the fight so quickly." "That fight was the easy one to find a spot for," Golden Boy chief operating office Dave Itskowitch told ESPN.com. "There is still work to do. We're still looking for spots for the other fights." A middleweight bout between first-season "Contender" winner Sergio Mora (19-0, 4 KOs) and former junior middleweight titlist Kassim Ouma (25-3-1, 15 KOs), which was supposed to be the co-feature on Saturday night, could also soon find a home. Wald said he is talking to ESPN executives, who have a vested interest in "The Contender" franchise, about buying the fight for the Oct. 16 card at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. That show will serve as episode seven of this season of "The Contender" and feature a live fight between season one fan favorite Alfonso Gomez and Ben Tackie. If a deal is worked out, Mora-Ouma would air live on ESPN Classic just before the live fight on ESPN. The other two canceled bouts -- Marquez-Juarez and a featherweight title bout between beltholder Robert Guerrero and Martin Honorio -- remain up in the air. Forbes, Bojado, Mora, Ouma and De La Hoya all will appear on Tuesday's episode of "The Contender" (ESPN, 10 p.m. ET) along with "Contender" promoter and front man Sugar Ray Leonard in pre-taped scenes which were designed to help promote Saturday's canceled card as well as to give them a chance to interact with the new crop of fighters on the third season of the series. Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.
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