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Nonito Donaire tests positive for COVID, out of December 19th Showtime main event

Donaire was slated to face Emmanuel Rodriguez, who replaced Nordine Oubaali

Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals - World Boxing Super Series Fight Night Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Showtime’s final main event of the year has gone full Ship of Theseus. After losing original headliner Nordine Oubaali, replacing him with Emmanuel Rodiguez, and subsequently pushing the card from the 12th to the 19th, Mike Coppinger reports that they’ve now lost Nonito Donaire to COVID. Keith Idec claims that Donaire countryman Reymart Gaballo could step in against Rodriguez, but his promoters tell Ryan Songalia there’s “[n]othing final yet.”

On the bright side, at least we won’t have to choose between watching Donaire and watching Canelo.

The 24-year-old Gaballo (23-0, 20 KO) is currently slated to face durable Chilean Jose Velasquez earlier in the evening. A clash with Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KO) would represent a massive step up in competition, as “Assassin’s” strongest foe to date was Stephon Young back in 2018. It’s unknown whether this will still serve as a WBC title fight or how Donaire’s mandatory status will compare to Oubaali’s “champion in recess” position.

The card also features a rejiggered co-feature between Jaron Ennis and Chris Van Heerden, the latter of whom replaces the COVID-stricken Thomas Dulorme.

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