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Emmanuel Rodriguez-Manuel Manzo result changed to No Decision by NJ Commission

Photo by David Algranati/ The Fight Photos
Fighters Network

Over two months after suffering his first pro defeat, Emmanuel “Salserito” Rodriguez is once again undefeated.

The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board has changed the result of Rodriguez’s last fight from a split decision loss to Manuel Manzo to a No Decision. The bout took place on November 12 at the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J.

The reason for the change in result is an unspecified banned substance that was found in a pre-fight urine test, a source tells The Ring.

“In all fairness, and consideration of the sport’s integrity, a contestant violating the rules on health and safety during competition cannot be the winner of the bout,” writes NJSACB commissioner Larry Hazzard Sr. in a statement dated Feb. 3.

Rodriguez (12-0, 7 knockouts, 1 ND) says the news is a welcome update ahead of his next bout, an eight-round bantamweight bout against Sharone Carter (13-5, 3 KOs) on Feb. 11, once again at the Showboat Hotel.

“The thing that pisses me off is that he put my life at risk. I feel happy that I’m still undefeated. It couldn’t come at a better time for my fight on February 11. You guys will see the best ‘Salserito’ to come,” said Rodriguez of Newark, N.J. by way of Quebradillas, Puerto Rico.

The Rodriguez-Manzo fight was snake-bitten from before the first bell rang. The 33-year-old Manzo (8-7-3, 4 KOs, 1 ND) of Fresno, Calif. by way of Michoacan, Mexico missed the contract weight of 120 pounds by 7.5 pounds, while Rodriguez weighed in after rehydrating and wearing gold chains at the second agreed upon weight of 124 pounds.

Rodriguez attempted to move and pot shot against the larger Manzo, but was knocked down by a left hook to the body in the fifth round by the aggressive Manzo. The knockdown was the difference in the bout as two judges scored the fight 76-75 for Manzo, while the third had it by the same score for Rodriguez.

The loss was costly to Rodriguez, who was rated no. 10 by the WBO and no. 13 by the WBA, but was dropped from the rankings at a time when all four belts were about to become vacant when Naoya Inoue moved up in weight to 122 pounds last month.

Thomas LaManna, who promoted the show on November 12, says he has not yet gotten in contact with Manzo’s team to discuss the ruling.

“I’m glad justice was served from the [NJSACB], big ups to commissioner Larry Hazzard Sr. for this ruling. I hope Manuel Manzo gets the help he needs to proceed in his career. We look to get Salserito reinstated in the world rankings so he can move forward in his career,” said LaManna.

An email to Larry Hazzard Sr. was not responded to by the time of this story’s publication.

Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Daily News, Rappler and The Guardian, and is part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2020. He can be reached at [email protected].