By Kevin Sox
The World Boxing Super Series semi-finals will continue on Saturday night at the Cajun Dome in Louisiana, United States with Philippines fighter Nonito Donaire facing 30-year-old Stephon Young in the bantamweight division.
This was following WBO bantamweight title holder Zolani Tete’s withdrawal due to a shoulder injury, per ESPN.
Tete (28-3, 21 KOs) previously out-decisioned Mikhael Aloyan of Russia in the quarter-finals of the bantamweight bracket last November 2018.
Donaire (39-5, 5 KOs) beat British boxer Ryan Burnett via a fourth round technical decision to win the WBA bantamweight super title in the same night.
“He hurt himself and wanted to stay in the fight but couldn’t,” Ringstar Sports’ Richard Schaefer, who promotes Donaire, told ESPN’s Dan Rafael.
“But as they say, the show must go on. When I talked to Nonito, he was disappointed but he trained hard and he wants to fight. He is on weight and on schedule. He told me whatever it takes, he wants to fight.”
“(Tete) tried everything on site but (his shoulder) deteriorated,” promoter Kalle Sauerland, the World Boxing Super Series’ chief boxing officer, told ESPN.
Young was initially supposed to face Daniel Lozano in the undercard, but will instead move to a match against Donaire.
In the other semi-finals match-up, Japanese rising star Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15 KOs) will battle a fellow undefeated warrior in Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) for the right to advance to the final round.
Inoue, the current WBA bantamweight champion, only needed 70 seconds in the quarter-finals, dispatching Juan Carlos Pagano of Dominican Republic. Rodriguez beat Austrailian Jason Moloney via a close split decision.