Boxing: Pregnant pause in fighter's career

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SOME BOXERS cannot fight because they fail drug tests. Maria de las Nieves Garcia cannot fight because of a pregnancy test.

After several tests confirmed that the Mexican fighter was pregnant, she was pulled on Thursday from her fight against Christy Martin on the undercard of what would have been today's Evander Holyfield-Henry Akinwande heavyweight title fight.

Nieves Garcia is 21 weeks pregnant and claims she was completely unaware of the fact. "She had no idea she was pregnant," said Bobby Goodman, Madison Square Garden's director of boxing, a fact that seems especially strange as she already has one child.

"She seemed to be dejected that she was not fighting," said Goodman, adding in response to a question, "no, she didn't appear to be gushing that she was pregnant."

Nieves Garcia, 22, was scheduled to earn $15,000 (pounds 9,500) to fight Martin, the World Boxing Council's women's lightweight champion.

Goodman said Nieves Garcia underwent urinalysis and a blood test on Wednesday which revealed she was preganant. She took another blood test Thursday which also proved positive for pregnancy, he said.

Martin has a deal with promoter Don King to earn $100,000 for an unreleased number of fights, as long as she keeps on winning. Her opponent's pregnancy was just one reason she will not today.