Caleb Truax cannot catch a break.
The former super middleweight titlist has been forced off of Saturday’s edition of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox due to what BoxingScene.com understands is non-COVID related illness. Minnesota’s Truax was due to face Alfredo Angulo in a sanctioned title elimination contest as part of a Fox-televised tripleheader live from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Replacing Truax in the Fox-televised chief support is Vladimir Hernandez (11-4, 6KOs), who was made available given his assigned role as the designated standby opponent. Hernandez was not previously scheduled to appear on the six-fight card, but his name surfaced as the new foe Friday morning on BoxRec.com.
Francisco Salazar—a longtime reporter for BoxingScene.com and RingTV.com—was the first to reveal the development of Traux being removed from the show and also contributed to this story.
While Hernandez was able to make himself available for the fight, he enters currently unranked by the IBF which puts into question whether the bout will remain a sanctioned eliminator. Truax is the highest rated contender at number-three (the first two spots are currently vacant, a common practice by the IBF in assigning mandatory challengers), while Angulo is ranked number-eleven by the New Jersey-based sanctioning body.
Stylistically, it represents a drastic switch in tactics for Angulo (26-7, 21KOs). As opposed to facing a larger, orthodox fighter in the 6’1” Truax, the 38-year old Mexican from Coachella, California is now presented with a squat southpaw in Hernandez, a 31-year old from Denver by way of Durango, Mexico who is coming off of a 10-round win over Aaron Coley just seven weeks ago in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Truax (31-4-2, 19KOs) claimed the belt with a 12-round win over James DeGale in a major upset in December 2017. The reign was short-lived, conceding the title in their rematch just four months later. It has been a frustrating climb back toward contention, having fought just twice since his reign came to a close.
One of the bouts was a truncated title eliminator with former middleweight titlist Peter Quillin, their bout halted after a cut from a clash of heads left Truax unfit to continue after two rounds of action last April in Minneapolis. Their attempted rematch last August never saw the light of day, as Truax suffered an injury during training camp which required months of physical rehabilitation.
Angulo wound up facing Quillin one month later, scoring an upset 10-round decision win last September in Bakersfield, California.
Truax since returned with a 10-round win in his home state this past January, only to watch the sport as a whole get shut down soon thereafter due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. His latest attempt at returning to the contender stage has proven just as troublesome.
The balance of the card remains intact. The evening’s headliner pits Erislandy Lara (26-3-3, 15KOs) in the first defense of his secondary version of the WBA junior middleweight title as the 37-year old Cuban export faces Massachusetts’ Greg Vendetti (22-3-1, 10KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox