By Miguel Rivera
He tried and tried, but Emmanuel "Manny" Rodriguez never managed to get in the ring the former champion Omar Andres 'El Huracan' Narvaez.
Apparently, he will have to settle for a win via a sanctioning body knockout over the Argentine veteran. This after the International Boxing Federation (IBF) decided to drop Narvaez from his top rated position for breaching the contractual agreement of the final eliminator with Rodriguez, who were ordered to battle for the position of mandatory challenger in the bantamweight division.
"The IBF has all the documents. They are clear that it was the (the group of Narvaez) who did not comply. They already notified him,"said Rodriguez's manager Juan Orengo to Jose Sanchez.
Narvaez, a former world champion in two divisions, will now be downgraded in a ranking position outside of the IBF's top ten.
Rodríguez (16-0, 11 KO's) and Narvaez (46-2-2, 24 KOs) were set to collide to establish the mandatory challenger to IBF bantamweight champion Lee Haskins (34-3, 14 KO's).
The promoter of the Naravez, Osvaldo Rivero, won the purse bid but failed to make the fight. After two cancellations, the promotional rights passed to Rodriguez's team, who also postponed it twice before setting it for March 25 in Fajardo.
Narváez never showed up in Puerto Rico to face Rodriguez, who instead faced a last-minute opponent. The IBF ruled that the Argentine boxer did not sign the contract for the fight and had no legitimate reason not to appear in Puerto Rico.
It is not immediately known whether or not Rodriguez will be declared Haskins' mandatory challenger or if he will be ordered to face someone else in another qualifying fight.
"I think they will put him in as the mandatory, but because it's not official I have not made any plans," said Orengo. "With this experience [with Narvaez] I learned that in boxing - anything really is possible."