Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will not be medically cleared in time to make his professional boxing debut on June 27 at The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on the undercard of the Victor Ortiz vs. Marcos Maidana fight on HBO according to Sherdog.com.
Under the tutelage of world renowned boxing trainer Freddie Roach, who has been working with "The Pitbull" over the past year or so to help him improve his striking, Arlovski had signed with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions to take a crack at the sweet science after coming up short in his WAMMA world title fight against champion Fedor Emelianenko back on January 24 at Affliction: "Day of Reckoning."
With former boxing champion Michael Moorer by his side, Arlovski accepted a short-notice bout against Strikeforce heavyweight wrecking ball Brett "The Grimm" Rogers at the June 6 "Lawler vs. Shields" event to satisfy the last fight on his Affliction contract (Affliction sponsored his appearance).
Things didn't exactly go as planned.
"The Pitbull" was put down just 22-seconds into the fight by an aggressive and hard-hitting Rogers. While no injuries were reported, the suspension will remain in effect, forcing the popular Belarusian to postpone his boxing debut until later this year.
He was originally rumored to be making his debut last September in the opening fight on the Casamayor vs. Marquez card in on an HBO pay-per-view (PPV) telecast against an unnamed opponent.
While that bout, as well as an attempt to get him on the undercard of the Paul Williams vs. Winky Wright event on April 11 didn’t materialize, Roach was eager to get him lined up after the Emelianenko fight, even mentioning a possible throwdown with current WBA heavyweight title holder Nikolai Valuev.
Fortunately cooler heads prevailed.
Arlovski has always been considered one of the top strikers in mixed martial arts, but it’s anybody’s guess as to how that talent would transfer over to a world championship boxing match against a monster like Valuev. Or any pro boxer for that matter.
The loss to Rogers certainly isn't helping his case.
Time will tell.