Star Boxing has been informed by Monte Barrett that he has suffered an injury that has forced him to pull out of his May 15 heavyweight clash with world rated (WBA #5, WBC #10, IBF #14) Kevin "Kingpin" Johnson, 21-0-1 (8).
Barrett reportedly suffered a cut while sparring that has left him ineligible to participate in next weeks ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights" main event being held at Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City, NJ.
Fortunately a much better, more compelling opponent has emerged. Replacing Barrett is 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Captain, and fellow undefeated heavyweight prospect Devin Vargas, 17-0 (7).
Vargas, like Johnson, is also promoted by Star Boxing. Vargas was scheduled to face former WBA heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon on the undercard, but jumped at the oppurtunity to fight in the main event against who many believe to be the most highly regarded American heavyweight.
Johnson vs. Vargas is a very intriguing fight. It matches two young, undefeated heavyweight prospects each in the biggest fights of their respective careers. The winner surely propels themselves into serious title contention and can emphatically stake claim as the top American heavyweight contender.
"We took the disappointing loss of an opponent and turned it into a terrific situation with a much better fight," stated Joe DeGuardia, CEO and President of Star Boxing.
"The Johnson-Vargas fight is a true matchup of top heavyweights prospects. Both Kevin and Devin really have stepped up and didn't take the easy way out. They both have the 'moxie' that boxing fans and the heavyweight division want. More fighters should be willing to step it up and fight the best opponents instead of finding excuses to turn down fights.
"In Devin, Kevin has a much more skilled, and talented fighter then he had in Monte, so we really want to commend Kevin for taking such a dangerous fight on such short notice. We also applaud Devin for stepping in and having the confidence to fight Johnson, who many regard as the top heavyweight contender out there. There is always something special about seeing two undefeated heavyweights putting their 0's on the line."
When asked why he would match two of his hottest prospects against one another, DeGuardia was quick to answer. "We believe in providing the absolute best opportunities for our fighters, the networks, casinos and the fans. This is a great opportunity for both Kevin and Devin, because the winner clearly cements themselves as a top contender in the heavyweight division.
"We work to put on the best fights we can and just because we promote both fighters we are not going to let that get in the way of opportunities for our fighters. We look forward to a great fight and great show on May 15th."
The card is promoted by Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing, in association with Harrah's Resort. A complete list of the undercard will be announced shortly.
Tickets are priced at $90 and $60 and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 1(800) 745-3000 or going online to ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also available by calling Star Boxing at (718) 823-2000 or by going online to www.starboxing.com.