Emmanuel Rodriguez will learn more by month’s end about his next ring appearance.

BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the IBF has scheduled a January 30 purse bid hearing to determine promotional rights for Rodriguez’s mandatory title defense versus Japan’s Ryosuke Nishida. The two sides were previously instructed to negotiate terms for their ordered title fight but were unable to reach a deal, which triggered the action taken by the Springfield, New Jersey-headquartered sanctioning body.

Puerto Rico’s Rodriguez, a 31-year-old two-time titlist from Manati, is represented by Fresh Productions’ Juan Orengo, while most of his past several bouts have taken place on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC)-branded events. Nishida is promoted by Kameda Promotions, headed by former three-division champion Koki Kameda.  

Rodriguez (22-2, 13KOs) regained the IBF bantamweight strap after a twelve-round shutout of Miami’s Melvin Lopez in their vacant title fight last August 12 in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The ordered bout was claimed by TGB Promotions, who presented a paltry offer of $25,000 as the lone bidder during a purse bid hearing last summer.

It will likely cost much more to keep the bout on their side of the world. Kameda Promotions has rapidly emerged as a rising force on the Japanese boxing scene and has already come up big during several purse bid hearings during its early years. That, coupled with the complete absence of any PBC dates on the calendar could leave Rodriguez forced to hit the road for the first defense of his second title reign.

Nishida (8-0, 1KO) is being fast-tracked to a major title.

The 27-year-old southpaw from Osaka was advanced to 12-round affairs in just his fourth pro bout. On that April 2021 night, he soundly outpointed former WBC flyweight titlist Daigo Higa via unanimous decision in what remains his most notable win to date.

It marked the first of five straight fights where he has gone ten or more rounds, all in decision victories. Nishida went the twelve-round distance in both of his 2023 appearances. The latter came in a twelve-round, unanimous decision over Mexico’s Cristian Medina (21-4, 14KOs) in his Osaka hometown to advance to the top of the IBF bantamweight rankings.

Rodriguez’s first IBF title reign began with a twelve-round shutout of England’s Paul Butler in May 2018, on the road in London. He lodged one successful defense—an October 2018 split decision over Australia’s Jason Moloney, who has since claimed the WBO title. That bout took place during the quarterfinal round of the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament, from which he was eliminated one fight later in a second-round knockout to Naoya Inoue.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox