Emmanuel Rodriguez is moving his training camp to Cuba to prepare for his bantamweight title unification fight with Naoya Inoue, which is supposed to take place as a World Boxing Super Series semifinal in February or March of next year.
“I will be quartered in Cuba for 77 days. It will not be easy to be away from my family for so long, but the sacrifice will be worth it”, said Rodriguez.
“We trust the plan that we have with my new coach William Cruz, and on the track with veteran Jose Bonet. The results will show in the fight. The chemistry that we developed in these past weeks of light training has been very good.
“This will be the first time that I’m not the favorite in a fight, and the motivation is incredible. It’s very huge. I like challenges. Our goal and focus is to take the victory and that Puerto Rico continues to shine in boxing.”
Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KO) defeated Jason Moloney to retain his IBF 118-pound title on Oct. 20 in Orlando in his first WBSS bout. Inoue (17-0, 15 KO) knocked out Juan Carlos Payano in 70 seconds on Oct. 7 in his first round tournament fight.
Right now, though, there is concern that the tournament could be called off. No venues or dates have been booked for any of the tournament semifinals in the bantamweight, junior welterweight, or cruiserweight divisions. But Rodriguez is moving ahead with training, which is probably the smart thing to do, and hopefully everything works out, because we’d be losing a lot of good matchups if the tournament gets scrapped.