Casimero-Rigondeaux Ready For Saturday Battle
On Friday afternoon in downtown Los Angeles, Filipino WBO World Bantamweight Champ John Riel Casimero and his opponent, top challenger and WBA secondary 118 lb. belt holder, Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba hit the scales. This in advance of their 12 round showdown at the Dignity Health Sports Complex headlining “Showtime Championship Boxing” on Saturday night.
After Rigondeaux, who’ll be 41 years old next month, came in at 117.5 lb., it was Casimero’s turn and he hit the Bantamweight limit on the 118 lb. number.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) August 13, 2021
The 32 year old Casimero, (30-4, 21 KOs) became WBO champ with a third round KO of Zolani Tate in England in November 2019. He successfully defended his belt destroying previously unbeaten Duke Micah by second round KO on Showtime from their fight “bubble” at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut last September.
Hear Marquis Johns and me preview Casimero-Rigondeaux on the latest “Big Fight Weekend” podcast by clicking below,
Meanwhile, Casimero told the media Thursday,
“Rigondeaux is a great fighter. But this fight is very important to me because I know my next opponent may be Nonito Donaire or Naoya Inoue. Those two opponents may be scared of me but Rigondeaux is not scared. But don’t worry Rigondeaux, this will be your last fight on August 14.
“I know how to manage my game plan against Rigondeaux but I’ll leave it as a surprise for him. Let’s see what happens Saturday. I’m not so much into the talking.
“I’ve stopped my last six opponents and Rigondeaux is next. He’s ‘finito’… I have a surprise for Rigondeaux on Saturday night. He will maybe last three rounds. Don’t run!”
For his part, the Cuban challenger, (20-1, 13 KOs) may very well be at the end of his career, but he doesn’t lack for confidence, himself, in getting ready for Casimero,
“I’m only worried about the title that Casimero has. I’m coming for the WBO belt on Saturday night.
Casimero is going to be the third Filipino that I’m going to take down. Everyone is going to see what I’m about on Saturday. I don’t have to tell anyone what’s going to happen now, you’re going to see it all in the ring.
I’m not worried about his talking. I always do my best talking with my fists and in the ring.”
The two biggest names looming for the winner Saturday night are Unified champ, Naoya “The Monster” Inoue of Japan and Casimero’s countryman, Nonito Donaire. Donaire captured the WBC belt with a demolition of Nordine Oubaali in May and thereby, became the oldest Bantamweight world champ ever at 38 years old. Rigondeaux is obviously trying to top that by defeating Casimero.
Casimero and Donaire couldn’t agree to a proposed Unification bout for this August 14th date, in part due to Donaire insisting that Casimero wouldn’t enter the VADA pre fight drug testing program to demonstrate that he was not on performance enhancing drugs.
The fight was called off and Rigondeaux was back in for Casimero, after the WBO champ insulted Donaire’s wife, who was defending him on social media about Casimero dragging his feat and not entering the VADA program. Obviously, “bad blood” exists for those two.
Meanwhile, The Monster already has a win over Donaire in what was tremendous battle for the World Boxing Super Series finale’ in Japan late 2019. And, it looks like those two may fight in November or December of this year.
So, the Bantamweight division certainly has upcoming intrigue, starting with the Showtime main event Saturday night.