This coming Saturday we'll see unbeaten Filipino Reymart Gaballo (23-0, 20) get a huge opportunity as he takes on Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12) for the WBC "interim" Bantamweight title. The bout is, by far, the biggest of Gaballo's career and a chance for the unbeaten slugger to put himself on the boxing map after really struggling to get a high profile opponent. On the other the bout is also a chance for Rodriguez to get his career back on track for his 2019 loss to Naoya Inoue, which saw him lose the IBF Bantamweight title in his second defense.
The bout is a strange given that neither man was originally supposed to headline the card, and the contest has literally come about to Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12) contracting Covid19 in November and Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26) having what seems to have been a false positive for Covid19.
Despite the strange situation that has lead us to the bout, it's fair to say we have a really intriguing one here, and the bookies are genuinely struggling to split them. They have Rodriguez as the slight favourite as we write this, with odds of 4/5 available on the Puerto Rican, but Gaballo is seen as a very, very live under-dog and is available at 11/8.
Even the draw is lower than usual, with the best price on the draw being 20/1.
Although there is clearly interest in the "To Win" market, it's not the only market that will have interest here as the "Method of Victory" market will also get plenty of attention. The most likely outcome, with the bookies, is a Rodriguez decision win, at 11/8. A stoppage for the Puerto Rican is available at 5/1 with some bookies.
For Gaballo backers he is 3/1 to win by decision and the same price to win by stoppage.
The "Total Rounds" market has been set at 10.5 rounds, with the over seen as the more likely outcome, priced at 4/9. The under is 13/8.
Given the distance set for the total rounds, it goes without saying that the "Bout to go the Distance" is seen as likely, with 4/7 on the bout going the 12 round schedule and 11/8 on an early finish.
Whilst the bout may not have been planned, it is one that looks a lot more competitive with the bookies than many would have anticipated.
Related - Gaballo gets chance to shine as he takes on Rodriguez for WBC "interim" title (Preview)
During the past week we saw the cancellation of the scheduled WBC Bantamweight title fight between Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26) and Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12) due to Donaire testing positive for Covid19.
Since then however things have developed quickly, with Rodriguez now being switched to face Reymart Gaballo (23-0, 20) for the WBC interim title and Donaire getting the results of a confirmatory test that he paid for out of his own pocket. That test came back negative. In fact that was the latest in a long, long line of negative tests from Donaire and his team.
As well as the test result above Donaire's wife, Rachel Donaire, has gone to social media to speak about the situation in great detail, explaining not just the situation, the previous negative tests but the entire series of events since November 25th (in an excellent facebook post that can be read in full here).
At the moment it's very unclear on what will happen with the fight. It seems unlikely we'll see Donaire Vs Rodriguez re-made, though what we could end up seeing is Donaire against original opponent Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12) in 2021, with Oubaali himself testing positive for Covid19 in November, which would likely be a workable solution. Then the winners potentially clash in at some point in the new year.
This is again a case of how tricky testing for Covid19 can be in boxing, and runs along side a similar issue from November that forced the postponement of a Light Flyweight bout between Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] and Reiya Konishi (17-2, 7) [小西伶弥], after Konishi also ended up having what was a false positive, with Konishi paying out of pocket for additional testing.
It's really hard to say what should happen here. We are all for extra caution and safety in the sport, however it does seem very odd that confirmatory tests are not being done as standard, and they are relying on a single positive test.
Earlier this week news broke that Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26) had had to pull out of his bout with Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12), for the WBC Bantamweight title, after testing positive for Covid19. At that point it was unclear what was set to happen with the show, and with Rodriguez, who had got the bout after Donaire's original opponent Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12) tested positive in November.
Today however we now know what is happening as Filipino promoter Sanman Promotions revealed their fighter Reymart Gaballo (23-0, 20), will now be facing Rodriguez in a bout for the WBC "interim" Bantamweight title.
Originally Gaballo was scheduled to take on Jose Velasquez (28-6-2, 19) for the WBA "interim" Bantamweight title and so we would expect him to be in great condition for this contest with Rodriguez, though of course there is a world of difference between Rodriguez and Velasquez.
It's a down grade, sure, from the originally planned bout, but in all honesty this isn't a bad bout in it's self, and it a really interesting step up for Gaballo, and a huge chance for him to make a mark at the highest level. It's also a little bit of fortune for Rodriguez who has had multiple issues affecting his career that have been out of his hand, including Luis Nery missing weight for a world title eliminator last year and Donaire contracting Covid19.
Earlier today Keith Idec, reporting for Boxingscene, broke the news that the December 19th bout between Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26) and Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12), for the WBC Bantamweight title, has had to be called off after Donaire tested positive for Covid19.
The bout, which had been put together after Donaire's original opponent Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12) tested positive in November, had been set to headline a Showtime card Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
At the moment it's unclear what will be happening to the show, with Idec reporting one possibility would be for Rodriguez to clash with Reymart Gaballo (23-0, 20), who was scheduled to take on Jose Velasquez (28-6-2, 19) for the WBA "interim" Bantamweight title. It's unclear whether the WBC would allow that bout, given that Gaballo sits outside of their top 15, though given the situation regarding the bout they may bend their rules. Likewise the WBA may play a role and allow for a Gaballo Vs Rodriguez bout, with Rodriguez having the much bigger name than Velasquez, with the Chilean being assured of a shot down the line at the winner.
With just over a week to go until the show it's obvious some quick decisions will need to be made on how the show will go on, if it will at all.
For those wanting to read Idec's article breaking the news that's available here.
Back in September it was reported that former WBO Minimumweight champion Vic Saludar (20-4, 11) would be clashing with the unbeaten Robert Paradero (18-0, 12) for the WBA "regular" Minimumweight title on December 5th. Sadly over the last few weeks that date was appearing less and less likely and yesterday it was confirmed that the date had indeed slipped
Rather than taking place in early December the bout has now been pushed to the back of January, with a new date of January 30th.
The delay, unsurprisingly, is Covid19 related, with with Metro Manila being in a state of general community quarantine until the end of the year, which is preventing sporting events in the regional.
Despite the delay the bout will still take place at the Elorde Sports Complex Philippines, Sucat, Paranaque City and Bebot Elorde has told the Philippines Daily Tribune that the end delay will give him more time to get things ready, essentially looking at the positives rather than the negatives.
It should be noted that the winner here will be the WBA's "secondary" champion, though would be in the running to face current "Super" champion Knockout CP Freshmart (21-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท], who sadly hasn't fought since a win in March against Norihito Tanaka [田中教仁], and has seen various rumours amount to nothing.
Whilst the delay is a disappointment it is worth noting that boxing is set to pick up in the Philippines, and there are other shows set for December as well as a host of international bouts for Filipino fighters. These include the December 19th bout between Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26) and Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12), for the WBC Bantamweight title, the December 20th bout with Jayson Mama (15-0, 8) challenging IBF Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane (39-2, 26) and the December 19th world title eliminator between Jeny Boy Boca (14-6, 12) and Muhammad Waseem (10-1, 7).
After months of seeing very limited Filipino action it now appears the country could be set for a huge month to finish the year, and also have something exciting to look forward to in January!
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