Why Donaire opponent believes he has edge over ‘Filipino Flash’ in Connecticut bout

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2020 06:01 PM

Former world champion Emmanuel Rodriguez said he relished the opportunity to fight 4-division former world champion Nonito Donaire for the WBC bantamweight crown.

But the boxer from Puerto Rico believes Donaire, 38, has already lost some of his lightning due to his age.

"Donaire is a future hall of famer, without question. I am proud to be able to fight him and he deserves respect, but he's received a lot of punishment during his career," Rodriguez said in an article posted on BoxingScene.com

"He just turned 38 years old and the movements should not be the same." 

Rodriguez, who lost to Naoya Inoue via second-round KO last year, is 10 years younger than Donaire.

Donaire also lost to Inoue, but unlike Rodriguez he gave the Japanese fighter a highly competitive match before losing on points.

"He is not being looked down upon," Rodriguez said.

"But I have many advantages due to age. He made a great fight to Inoue, however, he took too many punches. Donaire is a legend, but on December 19 he will have to deal with me."

Donaire was supposed to take on WBC champion Nordine Oubaali, but the Frenchman was tested positive for COVID-19.

This opened the opportunity for Rodriguez to take on Donaire for a WBC title as Oubaali became the WBC's "champion in recess." 

Rodriguez wants to score a big win against Donaire especially after losing face in his stunning defeat to Inoue.

"This fight is to show that [my loss against Inoue] happened and we are back on the map," Rodriguez said.

"Not all boxers get a second chance at a world title after a loss, but against Donaire I will make the kind of fight that everyone was used to seeing from me."

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