Former world champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire has withdrawn from his upcoming title bout after testing positive for COVID-19.
According to Boxing Scene, the WBC bantamweight title bout may still push through, with another Filipino in Reymart Gaballo replacing Donaire in the main event.
The 24-year-old Gaballo has a record of 23 wins and no loss, with 20 knockouts. He was scheduled to face Chile’s Jose Velasquez for the interim WBA bantamweight belt in the same fight card.
Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs) was all set to fight for the first time since his thrilling battle with Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue in the bantamweight final of the World Boxing Super Series in November 2019. That fight, judged as one of the best of 2019, saw Donaire lose via unanimous decision.
This wasn’t the first time that the bout had to be changed because of COVID-19 reasons.
Donaire was initially supposed to face France’s Nordine Oubaali, but Oubaali tested positive for COVID-19 and was thus replaced by Rodriguez.