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Rodriguez-Gaballo, Ennis-Van Heerden set for December 19

Former IBF bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodríguez will take on unbeaten, ex-WBA interim title holder Reymart Gaballo for the vacant WBC interim bantamweight crown at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, on December 19.

Nordine Oubaali and Nonito Donaire were originally set to meet for Oubaali’s WBC 118lbs title before the fighters tested positive for Covid-19, at which point the Rodríguez vs Gaballo fight was made for the vacant interim title.

In a potentially action-packed tripleheader, unbeaten welterweight sensation Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis will meet veteran contender Chris Van Heerden whilst unbeaten bantam Gary Antonio Russell will face former world champion Juan Carlos Payano in a 10-rounder on the Showtime broadcast in the US.

Non-televised undercard action will see rising star Brandun Lee battle Dakota Linger in a 10-round super-lightweight attraction.

“This is a dream come true to have another chance to fight for the title,” said Puerto Rican Rodríguez (19-1, 12 KOs). “Even with the opponent change, I know it will be a tough challenge, but I’ve worked too hard and put in too much time in the gym to allow myself to lose this fight on December 19.”

“I’m very excited for this fight,” added Filipino banger Gaballo (23-0, 20 KOs). “I can’t wait to step into the ring again. I’ve been training in Miami since March and I’m planning to take advantage of this opportunity. I have a very tough opponent, but I’m going to show everyone what I can do and make sure I’m victorious.”

A native of celebrated fight city Philadelphia, the gifted Ennis (26-0, 24 KOs) returns to the ring after stopping Juan Carlos Abreu in September. 

“I can’t wait to get in there to make a big statement,” said Ennis. “I am ready to show out and put on a crushing performance. This is one step closer to the bigger names and my world title shot.”