Luis Nery v Emmanuel Rodriguez
On the Wilder v Ortiz undercard, boxing fans will be treated to one wonderful bantamweight showdown. There, on November 23, Luis “Pantera” Nery (30-0, 24 KO’s) will face the challenge of Emmanuel “Manny” Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KO’s) live on FOX PPV.
SLOW CLIMB BACK TO THE TOP
There is little doubt that when Luis Nery arrives at the Barclays Center, he will do so armed with a laser-like focus. For the former WBC bantamweight champion,his single-minded mission will be to regain championship status.
Yet to accomplish this feat, he will have to get past a formidable obstacle in the form of Emmanuel Rodriguez. This task ahead of him will be no walk in the park. Thankfully for him, Nery has had to deal with adversity too before.
In 2017, just after his first bout with Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-2-2, 19 KO’s), Nery was flagged for a failed drug test. The Mexican southpaw was found to have trace amounts of zilpaterol in his blood system. In this instance, he was able to dodge a major bullet. Rather than strip him of his belt, it was ruled that the infraction was likely due to unwittingly ingesting tainted Mexican beef. That was his story and the WBC didn’t contradict him.
The good times would not last though. Roughly seven months later, in the rematch with Yamanaka, Nery came in well overweight. While trying to make the 118lbs limit, Pantera came in at a whooping 123lbs. Nery would return two hours later but still was too heavy at 121lbs.
This time however, even though the rematch still was contested, Nery was stripped of his title. In both prizefights, Pantera knocked Yamanaka out; first in two rounds, then in the fourth.
Putting his outside-the-ring adversities to the side, Nery has remained a certified terror in the ring. His last eleven straight fights, dating back to mid-2017, have all resulted in some form of stoppage victory. Riding this destructive wave of success, the former champion in confident that he will walk away victorious.
MINOR SETBACK FOR MAJOR A COMEBACK?
In the opposite corner, Emmanuel Rodriguez is also trying to put his own unsavory adversity behind him. Unlike Nery, Rodriguez’s professional woes were born in the ring against Naoya “The Monster” Inoue (19-0, 16 KO’s). Despite never having been on the canvas in his professional career, the Monster dropped Rodriguez three times in route to a second-round TKO.
Not only is Rodriguez attempting to get back in the win column, similar to Pantera, he is also trying to regain championship status. The bout with Inoue was the second defense of his IBF world bantamweight title. Manny initially won the vacant title over Paul Butler in May of 2018. His upcoming prizefight with Nery will be his first outing since his only career defeat.
Currently, Rodriguez is ranked #3 by the WBC and #8 by the IBF. A win over Luis Nery would likely propel him significantly up in the rankings, if not put him in line for a title shot.
Before the fight with Nery was made, Manny was supposed to face Cincinnati, OH fighter Rau’Shee Warren (16-3, 4 KO’s). That was until the bout was abruptly called off. Instead of taking a lighter touch to re-acclimate himself to the ring, once offered the opportunity, Rodriguez jumped at the chance to face Luis Nery. In the end, it’ll be the fans that benefit regardless of the victor.
By: Bakari Simpson