Abraham fighting flu instead of Marquez; fight rescheduled for Nov. 8

Updated: October 4, 2008, 12:21 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Middleweight titleholder Arthur Abraham woke up with a fever and flu-like symptoms, forcing his mandatory defense against Houston's Raul Marquez to be postponed.

The fight, as well as the rest of the card -- which was to have been Saturday in Bamberg, Germany -- has been rescheduled for Nov. 8, also in Bamberg, organizers said.

"I am really sorry but the flu really got me overnight and it's not possible for me to fight," Abraham said in a statement. "I really wanted to fight but the doctors would not let me. In my current physical condition it is impossible to step into the ring."

"There is no way he can make a mandatory title defense in his current state," trainer Ulli Wegner said. "It is a pity but there is nothing we can do. I am very sorry for the fans. We'll try to get Arthur healthy again as soon as possible and will prepare him for the fight on Nov. 8."

After Abraham attended the IBF's mandated Saturday morning weight check, he was taken to the hospital for tests.

"You could see he was coughing and very uncomfortable, so they took him to the hospital," Leon Margules of Seminole Warriors Boxing, Marquez's promoter, said from Germany.

Margules said he and Abraham promoter Chris Meyer of Sauerland Event quickly rescheduled the fight.

"The whole card was canceled and we'll leave [Sunday] as planned and then come back a week or 10 days before the fight in November," Margules said. "Raul is very disappointed because he was ready to fight."

The fight had been scheduled for American pay-per-view, but Margules said with the postponement, television plans for Nov. 8 were up in the air.

Abraham (27-0, 22 KOs) and Marquez (41-3-1, 29 KOs) both won on the same card June 21 in Hollywood, Fla., in Abraham's American debut.

Abraham knocked out Edison Miranda in their non-title rematch, and Marquez, a former junior middleweight titleholder, upset Giovanni Lorenzo in an elimination bout on the undercard to earn the shot at Abraham.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.