Emmanuel Rodriguez, A brief IBF 118-pound world title holder will have another shot at becoming its champion in August. This as First boxing champions and Showtime confirmed that the Puerto Rican Rodríguez will face the emerging melvin lopez August 12th.
From Showtime/PBC statement:
“Former world champion Emmanuel Rodríguez will face challenger Melvin López for the vacant IBF Bantamweight World Championship title live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, August 12 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Maryland. .
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® broadcast begins at 9 pm ET/6 p.m. Gary Antuanne Russell facing fellow undefeated Kent Cruz in the 10-round super lightweight co-main event, plus sensational prospect and Landover, Maryland native Travon Marshall takes on unbeaten two-time Olympian Gabriel Maestre in the first episode of the 10-round welterweight telecast assaults.
Fighting out of Manatí, Puerto Rico, Rodríguez (21-2, 13 KOs) defeated previously undefeated Gary Antonio Russell last October via technical decision to put himself back in position to fight for the world title. The 30-year-old originally won the IBF bantamweight world title with a unanimous decision win over Paul Butler in 2018 and successfully defended it against the then-undefeated. Jason Moloney. Rodriguez lost the title to former undisputed champion Naoya Inoue in their May 2019 title fight.
“I am happy to have this opportunity to become a world champion again,” Rodríguez said. “We are going out to win in spectacular fashion and my goal is to show that I am the best fighter in the world at 118 pounds. My goal is to become undisputed at bantamweight, however, I am not leaving Melvin López aside, because he is a good fighter and he will come to give his all on August 12 ”.
The 25-year-old Lopez (29-1, 19 KOs) has won eight straight fights since suffering the only loss of his career in October 2019. Originally from Nicaragua and now fighting out of Miami, Lopez has fought professionally since 2015 and began to compete. United States in 2018. Lopez picked up three wins in 2022, starting the year with knockouts of Juan Gabriel Medina and Victor Ruiz, before most recently defeating Jobert Alvarez last December. Of his last 10 victories, López has finished nine of them inside the distance.
“I am very excited that the time is almost here to fight for a world title,” Lopez said. “We had a great training camp and everyone sacrificed and worked hard for us to be at our best on August 12. I’m going to show everyone why I earned this opportunity and reward my team for all their efforts. I respect Emmanuel a lot, but the best man will raise his hand when we share the ring.”
our privileged information Dan Rafael reported last week which Rodríguez-López would headline for PBC and would be another piece of the bantamweight world title puzzle. This, after the former undisputed champion, the Japanese Naoya “The Monster” Inoue, vacated all four world titles to move up in weight for a world title challenge. Inoue will host American Stephen Fulton next week in a unified 122-pound clash for the Fulton titles.
Returning to Rodríguez-López for the IBF title will come on the heels of the vacant WBC bantamweight championship fight between former champion Nonito Donaire and Alejandro Santiago in the Errol Spence-Terence Crawford PPV billboard on July 29. Donaire, now 40, has previously held the WBC 118-pound title twice, losing it both times to Inoue.
It’s obvious that the Donaire-Santiago winner will be in a position to unify with the Rodríguez-López winner in the next two weeks, as all the fighters are part of the PBC umbrella.