The proposed Bantamweight Unification battle between Japan’s Naoya Inoue and John Riel Casimero of the Philippines postponed by the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year will have to wait awhile longer.
This after news that Casimero will be part of the “PBC on Showtime” split-doubleheader September 26th at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut and facing another opponent.
ESPN Steve Kim reported Monday afternoon the Casimero will face contender Duke Micah instead of battling “The Monster” this Fall:
Inoue and Casimero go their separate ways for now…. #boxing
— Steve Kim (@StevESPNKim) August 17, 2020
Casimero, 29-4, 20 KOs, is the WBO belt holder at 118 lb. and was originally scheduled to fight Inoue April 25th in Las Vegas before things were postponed.
Top Rank Boxing’s Carl Moretti told ESPN that Casimero’s side stopped waiting for the Inoue reschedule because, “we lost a seven-figure gate,” referring to no live crowd for fights.
Casimero apparently got a good enough guarantee to do a deal with Premier Boxing Champions and go to the Mohegan Casino in Connecticut and be part of the double header that will feature both twins, Jermall and Jermell Charlo in separate main event fights.
He’s a three-division world champion, who knocked out Zolani Tete in three rounds in Birmingham, England last November to capture the WBO World title.
Meanwhile, it looks as Inoue could face Australian Jason Moloney in defense of his WBA and IBF titles in a Top Rank battle without fans coming as soon as September or early October. Inoue has successfully a portion or both of those belts three times. This includes winning the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight tournament finale’ with a unanimous decision win over Nonito Donaire last November.
“The Monster” is highly marketable not just in the U.S., but obviously has a massive following from fight fans in Japan. And, the showdown with the Australian Moloney will obviously draw in a great number of fans “down under” to watch their proposed matchup. Jason Moloney was victorious in June with a 7th round TKO over Leonardo Baez in Top Rank’s Las Vegas “bubble.”