It was announced earlier today (12th February) that Ryan Burnett was forced to vacate his IBF world bantamweight following the IBF ordering purse bids for Ryan to face mandatory challenger Emmanuel Rodriguez, with Burnett having already signed to face WBA mandatory challenger Yonfrez Parejo to take place on March 31st in Cardiff. The breakdown of the Burnett’s decision to vacate the IBF title was explained by promoter Eddie Hearn earlier today.
“The IBF called an interim title bout between Rodriguez and Haskins so we proceeded to make the fight with our WBA mandatory Parejo,” said Burnett’s promoter Eddie Hearn. “Last week we were notified that that bout would no longer take place and that Rodriguez team were not willing to negotiate and they called immediate purse bids. Our deal was already in place with Parejo so we will vacate our IBF title and continue to face our WBA mandatory.”
IBF chairman Lindsey Tucker confirmed firstly to boxingscene.com that he has ordered former IBF world bantamweight champion Paul Butler to face Emmanuel Rodriguez, with the pair having to confirm their interest and participation in negotiations by the 15th of February (no fight agreement to be signed at this stage).
Butler claimed the IBF world title in 2014 with a split decision victory over then-titleholder Stuart Hall to secure the only world title he has won to date. Butler was to then return to super-flyweight and challenge IBF world super-flyweight champion Zolani Tete the following year, Butler was to suffer the only defeat of his career against Tete via knockout in eight rounds. Butler is ranked currently number four in the IBF bantamweight ratings at time of publication.
Rodriguez himself is ranked at number 3 within the IBF ratingsand is unbeaten as a professional with 17 fights slate by the Puerto Rican fighter. The handlers of Rodriguez have stated that they are targeting a date with Paul Butler for the 21st of April to appear on the undercard of Amir Khan’s homecoming return against Phil Lo Greco in Liverpool. Juan Orengo who promotes Rodriguez says he was not surprised by the decision of Burnett to vacate the title to avoid Rodriguez. Speaking to BoxingScene Orengo elaborated.
“We knew that Burnett did not want to fight with Manny (Rodriguez), because he saw Manny win the gold medal at the Singapore Youth Olympic Games in 2010.
“Burnett was also involved in that tournament and also won gold in another weight category, but it was Manny who won the overall prize as the best boxer of the tournament and we know that it hurt Burnett, but instead of seeking revenge he decided to leave the title vacant.
“Now we will be negotiating with the same promoter who handles Burnett, Eddie Hearn, since Paul Butler is also part of his company and has shown interest in making the fight possibly for April 21st in England on the card that Amir Khan we be headlining”