Donaire Positive For Covid 19 Off PBC On Showtime Main Event
A December 19th “PBC on Showtime” fight card has been impacted, once again, by Covid-19. This after it was learned Tuesday that Filipino star and former world champion Nonito Donaire has tested positive for Coronavirus and will be unable to compete in the main event at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.
Boxingscene.com, Senior Writer Keith Idec was the first to report that Donaire has had to withdraw in his bout with a replacement opponent, Emmanuel Rodriguez. The two were scheduled to fight 12 rounds for the “conditional” WBC Bantamweight Championship,
— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) December 9, 2020
Donaire was originally supposed to face France’s Nordine Oubaalii (the WBC 118 lb. champ) in the main event but Oubaalii tested positive for Coronavirus in November. The WBC and Premier Boxing Champions moved quickly to set up the conditional title fight with Donaire and Rodriguez with the winner slated to fight Oubaalii in the first part of 2021.
The now 38 year old Donaire, (40-6, 26 KOs) is the former WBA Super Bantamweight title holder who lost his belt in a furious battle with Japanese star and fellow 122 lb. title holder, Naoya “The Monster” Inoue in November of 2019.
The veteran Donaire rallied against his younger opponent Inoue opening up a nasty gash over Inoue’s his right eye in the eighth round and also causing him to bleed from the nose. Donaire then, scored a big left and another right in the ninth and staggered Inoue for the first time, since early in the fight.
With the decision hanging in the balance, Inoue stomped on the gas with the home country fans cheering him on. He won the 10th round, again effectively scoring with the jab and the straight right hand, as it looked as though Donaire was wearing out.
Finally in the 11th round, came the first and only knockdown of the fight, as Inoue landed a couple of big punches and eventually, scored with a left to the liver that staggered Donaire. Donaire trotted a couple of steps around the ring and then went down on one knee to take the count.
Donaire got up at the count of 9, but was clearly weary and Inoue battered him with several more punches and was on the verge of maybe scoring a TKO.
Donaire survived the round, but had nothing left in the tank in the 12th to try to score a desperate knockout. Inoue landed several more significant punches but Donaire survived until the final bell.
Innoue captured the decision win and the Unified WBA and IBF belts, and Donaire has elected to move back down to Bantamweight. It’s unclear on short notice on what Showtime will do for the main event and whether they can quickly find an opponent for Rodriguez.
The Donaire Tuesday announcement comes on the heels of the co-feature fight involving Philly’s Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 26-0, 24 KOs, battling veteran Thomas Dulorme in a welterweight contender fight. Dulorme tested positive for Covid-19 a couple of weeks ago and has been replaced by South African Chris Van Heerden.