By Fernando Gaztambide
As previously reported, a purse bid had been scheduled for earlier today in New Jersey at the offices of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) to finalize the fight between IBF champion Ryan Burnett and mandatory challenger Emmanuel 'Manny' Rodriguez, for a potential showdown date of March 31 in England.
But prior to the purse bid, Burnett announced that he would officially vacate his IBF world title as he decided to continue forward with his WBA title, which he will defend on March 31 on the Joshua-Parker undercard in Cardiff against the Venezuelan Yonfrez Parejo.
Given this, the IBF then ordered that Rodriguez would have to face Paul Butler of England and both parties have until this Thursday to give notice of their availability. If the parties do not reach an agreement, the fight will go to a purse bid.
Rodriguez's promoter, Juan Orengo of Fresh Productions, is not surprised by the recent events.
If a deal is finalized, Orengo says the contest would take place on April 21, as part of the undercard to the welterweight bout between Amir Khan and Phil Lo Greco at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
"We knew that Burnett did not want to fight with Manny, because he saw Manny win the gold medal at the Singapore Youth Olympic Games in 2010," said Orengo.
"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 [that Rodriguez was given that honor], 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 Butler is also a part of his company and has shown interest in making the fight for possibly for April 21 in England on the card that Amir Khan will be the headliner."