Nonito Donaire Forced To Withdraw From The Emmanuel Rodriguez Fight
COVID-19 has struck again in the boxing world. 3KingsBoxing has learned that multidivisional world champion Nonito Donaire (40-6, 21 KOs) has tested positive for the virus. As a result, he was forced to pull out of a scheduled December 19 WBC World Title bout against former IBF world 118-pound champion, Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KOs) at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut on Showtime.
This has been a whirlwind regarding the WBC Bantamweight title. Donaire was originally set to face Nordine Oubaali for the title. However, Oubaali himself tested positive for the virus. Oubaali was then replaced by Rodriguez, who was set to face Donaire until his unfortunate positive test result.
For the 38-year-old Donaire, this is an especially unfortunate setback. He had hopes of using the bout against Rodriguez as a springboard towards a possible rematch against current IBF/WBA ‘Super’ World Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs).
The two men fought a competitive and spirited battle in the WBSS Bantamweight Final in November 2019. Inoue won by unanimous decision in what was ESPN’s and Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year. Given Donaire’s age, he cannot afford to be on the shelf for too long. The truth is, he does not have that many fights left in the tank.
While nothing has been finalized, organizers of the December 19 Showtime card are attempting to pit Rodriguez in the ring with a replacement opponent in unbeaten Reymart Gaballo (23-0, 20 KOs). He was set to fight earlier on the card. Stay tuned to 3KingsBoxing for further developments.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.