LAS VEGAS – Luis Nery was considered a dangerous opponent for Emmanuel Rodriguez in Rodriguez’s return from a second-round knockout defeat to Naoya Inoue.
By Friday night, Nery had become too dangerous.
Rodriguez refused to accept more money to face Nery after Nery came in overweight Friday afternoon at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Once they couldn’t come to an agreement, their 12-round bantamweight bout was scratched from the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz undercard Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Nery-Rodriguez was supposed to open FOX Sports’ four-fight pay-per-view telecast at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The winner of their WBC elimination match was to become the mandatory challenger for France’s Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs), the WBC’s bantamweight champion.
The 24-year-old Nery (30-0, 24 KOs), of Tijuana, Mexico, stepped on the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s scale at 119 pounds, one pound over the bantamweight limit of 118. The 27-year-old Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KOs), of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, weighed exactly 118 pounds.
The NSAC gave Nery one hour to come back at 118 pounds or lower, but the former WBC bantamweight champ refused to try to lose that extra pound.
That’s when negotiations commenced for a deal that would’ve paid Rodriguez more money and included a rehydration clause that would’ve limited how much weight Nery could’ve gained by Saturday morning. Ultimately, Rodriguez and his team determined that it wouldn’t have been safe for him to fight Nery, a hard-hitting opponent who might’ve outweighed him by a substantial amount once they entered the ring.
According to their commission contracts, Rodriguez was supposed to earn a $75,000 purse Saturday night. Nery was due to earn $300,000.
In his last fight, Japan’s Inoue dropped Rodriguez three times on his way to a second-round stoppage May 19 in Glasgow, Scotland. Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) won the IBF bantamweight title from Rodriguez in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series’ 118-pound tournament.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.