By Fernando Gaztambide
San Juan, Puerto Rico - As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, Respected Puerto Rican contender, Emmanuel 'Manny' Rodríguez (17-0, 12 KO) of Vega Baja, will have his expected world title fight on Saturday, May 5 at the O2 Arena (Millenium Dome), Greenwich in London, England.
His opponent will be former world champion Paul Butler (26-1, 14 KO) in a fight for the vacant IBF world title in the bantamweight division (118 pounds) as part of the card headlined by the rematch between Tony Bellew and David Haye at heavyweight.
Originally Rodriguez was scheduled to take on IBF / WBA champion Ryan Burnett, but he vacated the IBF belt to opt for a voluntary defense of the WBA belt against Yonfrez Parejo of Venezuela, whom he beat by wide unanimous decision in Cardiff.
"Butler finally agreed to fight with me and I'm very happy that we can give the fans of England, Puerto Rico and the whole world a great fight," said Emmanuel Rodriguez.
"I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time and I will take advantage of it to the maximum. Thanks to my promoter Juan Orengo for struggling day by day to make this happen. I will travel to England with a great desire and it is to bring more glory to Puerto Rico. "
"Paul Butler is a good fighter who has already been a world champion and rises when he fights before his people. He has a lot of experience with world class opponents. I am aware of what he has and we are working to overcome it," Rodriguez said of his opponent.
Promoter Juan Orengo of Fresh Productions mentioned that - "it was not easy to get 'Manny' to fight for a world title as fighters of the caliber of Omar Narvaez, Ryan Burnett, Lee Haskins and Butler himself on a previous occasion, had avoided facing him and I'm sure after May 5, 'Manny' will prove to be the best 118 pounder in the world."