For McDonnell, who was questionably stripped of the IBF title belt last year, this is going to sting but it could get even worse. It seems that McDonnell, the IBF #3 ranked fighter, is set to be over-looked again by IBF.
The story doing the rounds at the moment suggest that the IBF will allow Caballero, who is ranked #4, to fight against Kohei Oba (35-2-1, 14), the #5 ranked fighter, with the winner of that bout becoming the mandatory challenger to the IBF champion. It's fair to say that if this happens McDonnell may well give up with the IBF all together considering the way he has been treat by them.
McDonnell's heartache however will be a gift to Oba.
Oba, who is arguably the 4th best Bantamweight in Japan, is a 2-time national champion though has fallen short in 2 attempts to claim the OPBF title. Saying that however we don't think much of either Caballero or current IBF champion Stuart Hall. There is nothing for Oba to fear in either guy and if he can bypass McDonnell then there is every chance Japan could have another IBF champion by the end of the year.
Of the current champions at Bantamweight the IBF champion is by far the weakest. The WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka would easy defeat Oba, the WBO champion Tomoki Kameda would be clearly favoured over Oba and WBA champion Anselmo Moreno would also be too much for Oba. A fight with the IBF champion then would be highly welcome for Oba if he does get the opportunity as we are now hearing.
Although this bout is being spoken about no date or venue has yet to be mentioned, though we're assuming that Golden Boy Promotions, the promoter of Caballero, will likely be behind the contest and it will end up in the US as a result.
(Picture of Kohei Oba courtesy of http://www.shinsei-gym.com)