IT’S tempting to think that the annual fight card that takes place on the weekend of the Mexican Independence Day festivities was cursed this year the moment Mexican middleweight superstar Saul Alvarez turned his nose up at a third fight against embittered rival Gennady Golovkin. It’s as if a hole tore through the firmament, unleashing a wave of bad juju. How else to make of the events that led to the fights at the Dignity Health Sports Park? When Alvarez’s promoter, Golden Boy, sought to fill Alvarez’s absence with a double billing featuring 154-pound slugger Jaime Munguia and lightweight Insta-star Ryan Garcia, it seemed at least the cherished date could be preserved by featuring two of the most promising Mexican fighters in the sport today.
Instead, on the day of the weigh-in, Garcia’s opponent, Philadelphia’s Avery Sparrow was a no-show. It turned out Sparrow had been whisked away by U.S. marshals on an outstanding warrant stemming from a domestic violence issue (apparently, he had unleashed a gun on his significant other).
And that was too bad, as Sparrow, despite being a natural featherweight, would have offered a tricky test for the still-too-green Garcia.