Nunez out with visa issues, Martin vs Marinez set for Saturday Showtime opener


Dan Rafael reports that visa issues have knocked former title challenger Ricardo Nunez out of Saturday’s bout with unbeaten Frank Martin, which was set to open Showtime’s Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas tripleheader. Despite the short notice, the relevant parties have scrounged up a surprisingly solid replacement in Jackson Marinez.

The Dominican Republic’s Marinez (19-2, 7 KO) is coming off of two consecutive losses, but they’re less damning than they look on paper. One was a bogus decision against Rolando Romero in 2020, while the other saw him stay competitive with Richard Commey through five rounds before succumbing to the Ghanaian’s vaunted power.

He’s a solid step up for Martin (15-0, 11 KO), a genuine blue-chip prospect who absolutely smoked Romero Duno this past January. “Ghost” will still be a heavy favorite just due to his sheer talent, but Marinez should at least make him work for it.

Both the main event and Brandon Figueroa vs. Carlos Castro remain intact.

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