LOS ANGELES (AP) – Lucia Rijker ruptured her left Achilles’ tendon in a training session, forcing her “Million Dollar Lady” fight against Christy Martin later this month to be called off Wednesday.

Rijker was injured when she stepped on a seam in the canvas while working out in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Top Rank spokesman Bill Caplan said.

“She heard a pop. She wasn’t doing anything that was terribly strenuous. She had been training much, much harder than that,” Caplan said.

An MRI revealed the ruptured tendon, and Rijker was scheduled to undergo surgery on Thursday in Los Angeles.

Promoter Bob Arum said he was uncertain whether he would try to reschedule the bout.

Rijker was to face Martin in Las Vegas on July 30 for a guaranteed $250,000 each, with the winner getting an additional $750,000.

Arum said Emanuel Steward, Rijker’s manager, came up with the idea for the match because of “Million Dollar Baby,” the 2004 Academy Award-winning movie starring Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman.

Arum was disappointed the fight had to be called off.

“But these things happen,” he said. “Sometimes when a fighter is injured, you hope beyond hope they can make the fight.”

But having suffered an Achilles’ tendon rupture myself, I know how long it can take to come back from it.

“She’ll be on the shelf for at least four months. We’ll see how long it’s going to take to actually heal. Until I know all of that, I can’t make any commitment to reschedule it.”

Rijker, from Amsterdam, moved to Los Angeles in 1994. She’s 17-0 with 14 knockouts. Martin is 46-3-2 with 32 knockouts.

AP-ES-07-20-05 2237EDT


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