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John Riel Casimero vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux heats up after press conference

However, while Casimero seemed to be trying to goad the soft-spoken Rigondeaux into agreeing to wage war, “The Jackal” was taking his usual ‘wait and see (what I bring)’ stance on the subject.

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Casimero vs. Rigo
Casimero vs. Rigo

Yesterday, July 21, was the virtual presser to kick things off for what should be a great bout on August 14 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California between WBA (Regular) bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero. The presser was hosted by the ShowTime Network’s Brian Custer.


While the two fighters were respectful of each other, it is clear that Casimero fears that the 40-year-old Rigondeaux will stick to his career-long style of boxing and sharp shooting from the perimeter while Casimero prefers to get down in the trenches. These are two very opposite tactics. Casimero’s style has made him a very popular fighter among fans while Rigondeaux’s approach, although effective in the amateur game, is somewhat frustrating for fans of professional boxing’s more rugged, action-based approach.


However, while Casimero seemed to be trying to goad the soft-spoken Rigondeaux into agreeing to wage war, “The Jackal” was taking his usual ‘wait and see (what I bring)’ stance on the subject.


Before we get into some of today’s quotes of note - let’s look at the tale of the tape heading into the fight.



Country - Philippines

Age - 32

Height - 5’4”

Reach - 64”

Stance - Orthodox

Record - 30-4 (21 KO’s)

Inactivity - 322 days



Country - Cuba

Age - 40

Height - 5’5”

Reach - 68”

Stance - southpaw

Record - 20-1 (13 KO’s)

Inactivity - 533 days


Questions ???


Casimero - Will the long break have him rested up or will the inactivity show some ring rust? Will the four-inch reach disadvantage come into play? Can he close the gap on the sharp shooting Rigondeaux and turn the fight into a phone booth affair which will benefit him? Can his aggression and volume punching throw off the more natural boxing instincts of Rigondeaux? Will his eight-year age advantage come into play later in the bout?


Rigondeaux - At age 40, will father time rear its undefeated head in this bout? Can he use his southpaw stance to keep the hard charging Casimero off balance? Can the former Olympian use his considerable boxing skills to walk the aggressive Casimero into a punch? Will he fight a pleasing (power shots) style, or will he go with his stick and move game?


Quotes of Note




“I’m so ready for this fight. Training camp has gone so well and I’m just ready to rumble.


“Nonito Donaire didn’t want to fight me but that’s okay. Donaire is easy for me. Now, I have Rigondeaux and I know he’s very experienced. He’s a two-division world champion and a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. This will be a great fight.


“Rigondeaux has a much different style from Donaire. I’m actually much more excited to fight Rigondeaux because Donaire is scared of me. I don’t think Rigondeaux is scared. If he’s not scared, he better fight me and not run.


“I want this to be a fight. The fans want this to be a fight. I hope Rigondeaux doesn’t run. If he does, this will be a boring fight. His old fights are no good. All he does is run, run, run. I want the Rigondeaux that doesn’t run, the one that boxes and fights.


“I believe that my work rate will overwhelm Rigondeaux. We put together a nice strategy with my trainer for Rigondeaux. We’ve watched a lot of tape on him. We just hope that the Rigondeaux that fought Nonito Donaire on a bicycle doesn’t show up. We want to see the one we’ve seen recently that comes to fight. I want to excite the people at the Dignity Health Sports Park. It’s a very special place to me because that’s where I won the WBO title. It will be another great fight if Rigondeaux comes to fight.


“When I beat Rigondeaux, he’s going to retire. He’s finished. Finito!


“We don’t underestimate anybody. I know that he’s a great fighter, a two-division champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. I want to do my best. I prepare very well for every fight. I just hope Rigondeaux leaves his bicycle at home and brings his boxing shoes and comes to fight. I know he’s preparing for this fight with hard work too.


“The change in opponent doesn’t bother me at all. It went back-and-forth between Rigondeaux and Donaire. I don’t care who they put in the ring in front of me. I’m ready and prepared for Rigondeaux.


“Rigondeaux thinks that Donaire is a better fighter than me, so I’m going to change his opinion.


“I need to win this fight so that I can keep moving along and get the next two big fights against Donaire and Naoya Inoue. But maybe those two are scared of me and don’t want to fight me.


“Manny Pacquiao is my idol. He’s a big inspiration. Being together and being able to train and run alongside him and watch what he does is inspiring. Everything about him is amazing. His power, what he does inside the ring and what he does outside of boxing as a Senator and what he does to help people are all inspiring and impressive.


“I’m very excited to be fighting back at the place where I won my world title. I have great memories there. There’s nothing better than going back to where you won your title. I think Rigondeaux has realized at this age he needs to engage a little more. I think this building brings out great fights. There’s something about the venue, so I think that Rigondeaux will stand and fight me and give the fans at the ‘War Grounds’ what they want to see.




“We are in the home stretch of training and everything has been going great. We’re fully focused on and excited about this fight.


“It’s about patience before everything. That’s how I live. Whoever is standing across the ring from me on fight night, I will be ready for him regardless.


“I’ve always been at the world championship level and everyone knows that. At this point, I’m just waiting to again show what I’m capable of and take care of business.


“I’m not worried about Casimero’s power or anything he brings. I’ve fought in three divisions and I’ve gone after the biggest challenges every time. I’m just not worried about what Casimero will do in the ring.


“It’s simple to me. Casimero is going to do his job and I’m going to do mine. We’ll both bring our ‘A-games’ and see who comes out on top.


“I’m not a big trash-talker. It’s not about what he’s going to say beforehand. I’ll see him in the ring on and he’ll get the real Rigondeaux just like he wants. Until then, I’m just focusing on my job.


“He says he’s going to retire me, so it’s on now. We’ll see if he’s able to back up that talk.


“He’s going to feel my power. Everyone is talking about his power and I feel like my power is being underestimated. I can’t wait to get in the ring on and show everyone what I’m capable of.


“I can guarantee that everyone is going to see the best of me. I perform best under the bright lights and that’s what I’m bringing to this fight.


“Casimero is a good opponent. Every opponent that I face believes that they can beat me, but the pressure is on them to back that up. I can only control what I bring and I know I’m going to be ready.


“I moved down to bantamweight because nobody wanted to fight me at 122-pounds. I’m the best fighter at that weight and everyone knows it. But no one wanted to fight me, so it just made sense to go down to bantamweight.


Predication - While it is easy to think a sharp shooting, skilled boxer like Rigondeaux would frustrate the more aggressive, offensive-minded Casimero, the Philippine’s all-action fighter is very hard to keep off for any amount of time. While he might open himself up for counter shots, as any aggressive fighter does, you are also standing in the line of fire as Casimero comes in throwing everything he has at you. At age 40, does Rigondeaux have the wheels to keep out of the way of the Casimero onslaught for 12-rounds? While I do think it might be hard to get the stoppage against a defensive minded fighter like Rigondeaux, I think the work rate, aggressiveness and pressure of the always entertaining Casimero will see him through to a 12-round decision. Casimero by UD 12.





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