PINOY Pride 31 “Clash of the World Champions” will be pushed a week back because of a slight injury Francisco Rodriguez suffered in training camp.
Instead of July 4, the blockbuster show will now be on July 11 at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.
Rodriguez will challenge World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight king Donnie Nietes in the main event.
“A minor ankle injury. So we just moved it a week as we want both fighters to be a hundred percent,” ALA Promotions President Michael Aldeguer told Sun.Star Cebu.
ALA Boxing Gym head trainer Edito Villamor believes that it won’t affect Nietes’ training, which has been going well so far.
“His training has been very good. He has logged close to a hundred rounds. His preparation for this fight is really great,” Villamor told Sun.Star Cebu.”(We will have the) same routine, continue our training program, our game plan and the strategy we will use for the fight.”
Nietes, 35-1-4 with 21 knockouts, has defended his title six times, with his latest win being a ninth-round stoppage over Gilberto Parra in Manila last March.
Rodriguez, the former WBO and International Boxing Federation (IBF) mini-flyweight king, is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Filipino Jomar Fajardo in their rematch last January in Mexico. The 21-year-old Rodriguez is 17-2-1 with 11 knockouts.
Unbeaten up-and-comer Mark Magsayo (10-0, 8 KOs) guns for his first regional title as he takes on Mexican Rafael Reyes (16-4, 12 KOs) for the vacant IBF Youth featherweight strap, while amateur standout KJ Cataraja finally makes his pro debut with a six-rounder against Indonesian Ardi Tefa (6-4, 4 KOs).
Also on the card is former Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super bantamweight champion Roli Gasca (22-6-1, 6 KOs) locking horns with South Korean Nam Joon Lee (8-4-3, 4 KOs).