Casimero anxious to face "Monster" Inoue
By Bill Tibbs
Bantamweight Naoya Inoue, the WBA’s super champion and IBF champion, will face WBO title holder John Riel Casimero of the Philippines sometime this summer if all goes well with…. the next couple of stages of the covid19 openings, Inoue’s travel visa, airlines’ international travel, and ….
Yes, it is a crazy time in the world but, when Inoue and Casimero get the nod this fight should happen. And, according to MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions’ Sean Gibbons, “We are hoping to get it done in August. That is a realistic date that hopefully will work," he said.
Boxing has been on hold during the world pandemic, but gyms, promoters and commissions are getting up and running again and are looking to re-start the sport.
Inoue, one of boxing’s rising stars, and already a huge star in his native Japan, will enter the ring at 19-0 with 16 KO’s. The more experienced Casimero of the Philippines, a former light flyweight and flyweight world champion, comes into the ring at 29-4 with 20 KO’s.
In a ‘bout of the year’ war with former world champion Nonito Donaire last year, Inoue, a former WBC light fly and WBO super flyweight world champion, defended his IBF strap and saw his WBA world bantamweight title elevated to super status. Inoue got the UD after 12 rounds against veteran Donaire but suffered some facial damage, so the break has been good for him.
In Casimero, you have a highly talented and non-stop banger who is simply relentless in the ring. He will come into the ring against Inoue as a former WBO light flyweight, and long-reigning IBF flyweight world title holder. He picked up the WBO world bantamweight title in November of last year after 2 wins as the interim champion.
He won the full title against Zolani Tete, stopping him in 3 rounds in Birmingham, England.
While most people in boxing would feel that Inoue would indeed be the favorite, Casimero representative
Gibbons says, “Not so fast."He understands that Inoue might look like the favorite but he knows he has a
player in the game that is going to surprise a few people.
“Billy, let me tell you something, we are very aware of what we are up against here with Inoue. The guy is a big puncher and when you are in with a banger you always have to be aware of that bomb coming”, he said. “But, let me tell you, you don’t become a multiple world champion, and pick up some of the wins that Casimero has, on the road, without being a very, very good fighter," he continued. “Thailand, China, Mexico, England, The U.S., it doesn’t matter, set up the ring and Viva Casimero is coming to do what he does and that is win fights."
Asked if the delay has been frustrating for Casimero, and may have affected his preparation at all, Gibbons was quick to point out it won’t be a factor.
“Let me tell you John Riel is here in Las Vegas and he is training every day. The guy can’t wait to get in the ring with this guy and win a fight that most people think he won’t. He loves to train and is in fantastic shape. And, look at his record Billy, when he gets in that ring, it is go time from opening bell until the very last second. He has a lot of stoppages late in the fights and that is because he never stops. He is very mentally tough, he doesn’t ever get to a spot where he feels the fight is out of range for him," continued Gibbons. “He is looking to take you out from the opening second until the final second," he said.
Pressed how he sees the fight playing out and the always enthusiastic Gibbons made it clear that hunting season is opening a little earlier this year.
“Inoue is a very skilled fighter and he can punch. We have a lot of respect for him. But, he is also someone who gets hit. And guess what? In Casimero, he has a guy who will be bringing the heat from round one until the last second of the fight. Inoue has been healing up from his last fight against Donaire who banged him up a lot. My guy has been training like a monster, or should I say monster hunter. When they get in the ring, monster hunting season is officially open baby. Viva Casimero."