Due to what the International Boxing Federation have described as a ‘legal impediment,’ former IBF bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell is now out of the running to be involved in a final eliminator.
McDonnell was in line to battle undefeated Mexican-American Randy Caballero in the spring, with the stipulation that the winner would gain a shot at current title holder Stuart Hall, although the IBF have now turned to Japan’s Kohei Oba instead.
Robert Diaz, the matchmaker at Caballero’s promoter’s Golden Boy, explained the situation to World Boxing News on Wednesday, and is now looking into venues and dates to stage the fight between Caballero and Oba.
It’s a bitter blow to McDonnell after the Doncaster fighter was firstly stripped of his title belt, before having to watch on a Hall, an opponent he defeated previously, took the vacant title with victory over Vusi Malinga in December.
There had been some suggestions that Caballero would even be willing to travel to the UK for a clash with McDonnell on his given date of April 19, but that is now academic after the IBF’s ruling.
IBF chairman Lindsey Tucker confirmed that McDonnell is no longer being considered for any upcoming IBF-sanctioned bouts, although according to the fighter himself, he will still be fighting on April 19.
California-based Caballero, 23, who has amassed a standout 20-0 record with 12 stoppages since turning professional in 2010, could now be just one fight away from a maiden world title fight against the winner of Hall’s next defence – which takes place next month against compatriot Martin Ward.
Hall and Ward collide on March 29 at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, with the champion a heavy favourite with the bookmakers to retain his title, and Caballero aiming to be his next challenger.
Standing in his way will be 29 year-old Oba, an experienced Japanese title holder with just two losses from 38 contests, but is yet to fully show his potential against a world-class operator.
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