Nonito Donaire’s bid for the vacant WBC bantamweight title this December is now off.
The Filipino fighter has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to withdraw from the Showtime main event against Emmanuel Rodriguez on Saturday, December 19 (Sunday, December 20, Philippine time) at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Rodriguez was a substitute opponent for Donaire as the Puerto Rican replaced France’s Nordine Oubaali, who also tested for COVID-19 last month.
The news, first reported by BoxingScene.com, said the card could still move forward with Rodriguez facing another Filipino boxer in Reymart Gaballo.
Gaballo, unbeaten after 23 fights with 20 knockouts, was to set dispute the World Boxing Association interim bantamweight crown against Chilean Jose Velasquez.
The bout was supposed to be as chief support to Donaire’s 118-pound title clash against Rodriguez.
Donaire had hoped for a ring return after a loss to Naoya Inoue in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series last year.
But at 38, the “Filipino Flash" showed in the bout that he still packs a mean wallop that has given him 2 Knockout of the Year awards.
Rodriguez also suffered his first career loss against Inoue last year, which cost him the IBF bantamweight title. – Rappler.com