WBA bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. will be taking on a new opponent after South Afraica’s WBO champion Zolane Tete was forced to bail out of April 27 fight due to injury.
Donaire was supposed to fight Tete in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) bantamweight semifinals to be staged at the Cajundome in Lafayette, Los Angeles, but the South African went down with a shoulder injury.
Taking Tete’s place is late replacement Stephon Young of the US. Young is the WBA No. 5 contender and WBSS’s reserve fighter.
Young was ecstatic for the break.
“It doesn’t matter who I fight. I’m coming in to win vs anyone I step in there with. My mindset is strong. I have the utmost respect for Nonito. He is a great fighter and from what I see he’s a classy fighter outside the ring as well,” he said in Boxing Scene.
The tournament's chief boxing officer Kalle Sauerland said Young he will now have the golden opportunity to earn a place in the final against either Naoya Inoue or Emmanuel Rodriguez.
”It is very, very unfortunate for Tete, particularly after such a strong belief in going all the way and win the Ali Trophy,” said Sauerland.
“Fortunately, we are prepared for such eventualities and the tournament will move forward with our reserve fighter Stephon Young, ranked number five in the world, facing Nonito Donaire in the semifinal in Lafayette this weekend.”
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