Nonito Donaire tests positive for COVID, Emmanuel Rodriguez fight off for Dec.19th
By Sean Jones: Former four-division world champion Nonito Donaire has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, and his December 19th fight against Emmanuel Rodriguez is now reportedly off, according to CBS Sports.
It’s up in the air right now whether Emmanuel Rodriguez will stay on the December 19th fight card on Showtime Boxing.
Unless the WBC sanctions a replacement for Rodriguez to fight for their vacant WBC 118-lb title, they’ll have to wait until a later time. For the fans that don’t remember, Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue destroyed Emmanuel Rodriguez by a first-round knockout last year on May 18th in Glasgow, Scotland. Rodriguez hasn’t fought since.
It obviously won’t be ideal if Rodriguez is given the green light to fight a replacement for the vacant WBC title, as it would arguably cheapen the belt if it’s fought over by a last-minute replacement rather than a contender that deserves to fight for a belt.
Donaire has had rotten luck
Poor Donaire has had rotten luck lately, as he was supposed to have challenged WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali originally for the title. Still, he too tested positive for COVID-19, which wiped out that fight.
The World Boxing Council then gave Oubaalli their ‘Champions in Recess’ tag and ordered Donaire and Rodriguez for the vacant WBC bantamweight title. It was an odd situation because both Donaire and Rodriguez were coming off of defeats. Anyway, the winner of the Donaire-Rodriguez fight was then supposed to face Oubaali once he recovered from his case of COVID.
The 38-year-old Donaire and the recently knocked out former IBF bantamweight champion Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KOs) were supposed to be battling or the vacant WBC 118-pound title at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Unless the WBC has somebody worthy of fighting Rodriguez for their vacant 118-lb title on December 18th, they would be better off waiting until a later time when two quality fighters are available to fight for their belt.
It would look wretched if the recently knocked out Emmanuel Rodriguez battling some low-level guy on December 19th just so that the WBC can have their belt fought for.
The WBC might as well wait until the original 118-pound champion Ouabaali has recovered from COVID and let him defend the belt in 2021 against Donaire once he gets well. That’s a far better option than the WBC just picking some bottom dweller and having them take on Rodriguez for the belt.
Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs) lost his last fight to Inoue by a 12 round unanimous decision last November in Japan. Unlike Rodriguez, Donaire made it competitive and fought well in hurting Inoue, breaking his lose, fracturing his eye ride, and badly cutting him.
- Interview: Nonito Donaire opens up on ‘The Monster’ Naoya Inoue and much more
- WBC makes Oubaali champion in recess, Donaire and Rodriguez to fight for the vacant 118-lb title
- Nonito Donaire motivated for ‘The Takeover’ at 118
- Nordine Oubaali vs. Nonito Donaire on May 16 on Showtime