Emmanuel Rodriguez Ready For Mandatory Shot at Ryan Burnett
By Miguel Rivera
The plans of Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Rodriguez have suffered some alterations.
Ryan Burnett’s victory over Lee Haskins last Saturday to become the new International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight champion, means that the Puerto Rican pugilist’s representatives are expected to start negotiations as soon as possible with a new group.
According to Juan Orengo, Rodríguez’s manager, he has a letter that certifies that his protégé is the mandatory challenger.
“We will have 90 days to negotiate with the people of Burnett, but we will start the process as soon as possible,” Orengo told Carlos Gonzalez.
Haskins was confident that he would retain the 118-pound crown.
However, Burnett overcame a cut he suffered through an accidental head butt to come through with a controversial split decision. At the conclusion of the 12 rounds, Burnett was favored on two of the cards 119-107, 119-107, while the third delivered a score of 118-108 for Haskins – which after the fact was revealed to be an error where the judge scored the bout for the wrong boxer.
“We’re going to start in the coming weeks. The agreement is in place. The condition they gave us at the IBF was that Manny will be the challenger,” Orengo said.
“The IBF agreed, everything is clear and we are ready to go to Burnett’s home. We are looking to bring that crown to Puerto Rico. We are not thinking about where it will be.”
However, there is a chance that Burnett will be given the opportunity to make an optional defense, something that Manny’s representatives would fight to prevent.
“The deal is that the winner has to defend against Manny,” insisted Orengo.
Although Orengo points to September as the date for Rodriguez’s title fight, he acknowledged that Burnett’s cut could cause it to be postponed by October or November.
“It may be, but it will be an interesting fight for his promoters because the boy enjoys a lot of fame in Ireland and it does not bother us to go to his house,” concluded Orengo.