Larosa-Modafferi Rematch Cancelled

By Jordan Breen Oct 15, 2008
It was tabbed as the foremost female fight for the final quarter of 2008. Unfortunately, the hot ticket rematch between Tara Larosa and Roxanne Modafferi has been put on ice.

Larosa and Modaferri, both signees of the upstart American Fight League, were scheduled to meet on Ironheart Crown's Nov. 8 card at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, in a rematch of their March 2006 bout in which Larosa took a competitive verdict on the cards. However, Ironheart Crown promoter Eric Moon confirmed to Sherdog.com that the bout has fallen through due to funding issues with the sponsoring AFL.

"The show is still on, but the AFL pulled the funding for the [Larosa-Modaferri] fight," Moon revealed.

The Kentucky-based AFL, who made media splashes with the signing of former WWE star Bobby Lashley and the pursuit of free agent Tito Ortiz, signed Larosa to an unprecedented contract in June, which could reach $750,000 over an 18-month span. The promotion then announced late last month that they had loaned out three contracted fighters -- Larosa, Modafferi, and hot 145-pound prospect Rafael Assuncao -- to Ironheart Crown for their Nov. 8 card.

With their fighters' sizable price tags, the AFL was expected to pick up the tab on the purses of their three fighters on the Ironheart Crown card. However, difficulties with investors and sponsors led them to pull their support.

"They were a gift to us, and there was never a firm commitment from the AFL, so nobody lied to us," explained Moon. "They were not obligated to lend us Tara or Roxy. I don't blame them, either. The AFL put a huge amount of money into my show without getting too much out of it."

Modafferi was less spirited.

"I'm feeling pretty numb about it, to be honest," said the Massachusetts-born, Tokyo-based standout. "It's funny, because a few weeks ago when I heard the stock market crashed and the economy was going down the tubes, I thought, 'Damn it, I bet my fight is going to get cancelled.' So in a way, I'm not surprised."

"I just want to fight, and I feel like I'm back to square one," Modafferi continued. "I'm trying to get on the new Japanese event [GCM's Valkyrie] on Nov. 8, but there's nobody my weight here in Japan, so I don't think it's going to happen."

Modafferi (12-4) has fought just once since winning the K-Grace one-night tournament in May 2007, when she impressively stopped Brazilian Vanessa Porto last April. Larosa (15-1), the consensus queen of the 135-pound division, hasn't fought since her second-round submission of Cody Welchlin last November.

Despite the dissolution of the Larosa-Modafferi rematch, Moon is optimistic about keeping the AFL's Assuncao's featherweight fight with Joe Pearson intact for the Nov. 8 card, which will be headlined by a meeting between UFC veteran Gideon Ray and undefeated Miguel Torres pupil Juan Magana.

"We're trying to keep working with Rafael," said Moon. "Hopefully we can keep that fight exactly as it is. The AFL has said we can go ahead and arrange something."

Sherdog.com's calls to AFL representatives were not immediately returned.
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