This just in from Mike Afromowitz at Strikeforce.
New York (April 1, 2009) â€“ A broken left leg sustained during a sparring session earlier today has forced Strikeforce World Lightweight (155 lb. limit) Champion Josh â€œThe Punkâ€ Thomson (16-2) to withdraw from his scheduled title defense against Gilbert â€œEl Nino” Melendez (14-2) at Strikeforceâ€™s â€œShamrock vs. Diazâ€ event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. on Saturday, April 11.
Strikeforce is searching for a replacement fighter to face the top-ranked Melendez in the live SHOWTIME televised event.
â€œI was sparring hard and I broke my leg, above my ankle, during an exchange,â€ said the 30-year-old Thomson, who was trading blows with fellow Strikeforce competitor Billy Evangelista when the injury occurred. Thomson is scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday and is expected to be out of action for two to three months.
â€œIâ€™m very upset. All the hard work was done and it was time to fight,â€ said the injured champ. â€œI was looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans. All I can say is that Iâ€™ll be back when I get healthy.”
Strikeforce â€œShamrock vs. Diazâ€ will air live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) on Saturday, April 11.
Tickets for â€œShamrock vs. Diaz,â€ priced from $30, are available for purchase at the HP Pavilion box office (408-287-7070) as well as at all Ticketmaster locations (408-998-TIXS), Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com), and Strikeforceâ€™s official website (www.strikeforce.com).