John Riel Casimero-Paul Butler Bout Back On For April
WBO Bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero has a new date to battle England’s Paul Butler, but this time the bout will be in the U.K.
Probellum Entertainment announced Friday morning that Filipino champ Casimero, who bowed out of his previously scheduled defense of his 118 lb. Championship with Butler in Dubai, has agreed to the WBO mandate that he had to fight the Brit next or be stripped of his title,
Probellum's maiden Liverpool show announced!
— Probellum (@probellum) February 10, 2022
In the night’s main event at the M&S Bank Arena, Filipino Casimero (31-4, 21 knockouts) puts his WBO bantamweight title on the line against the UK’s Butler (33-2, 15 knockouts) in a bout which was originally due to be held at Probellum’s inaugural December 2021 show in Dubai before Casimero was unable to make weight.
“Liverpool is one of the most passionate boxing cities in the world and we are delighted to be holding our first show at the M&S Bank Arena in April,” said Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum.
“This is an absolutely fantastic card featuring a combination of world-class fighters, extremely talented aspiring stars and packed with local talent whose fans will no doubt create a truly unique atmosphere.
“With the likes of John Riel Casimero, Paul Butler, Rocky Fielding and the McGrail brothers all set to put on a great show, we fully expect some thrilling fights and a fantastic occasion.”
As the release says and as we previously wrote, Casimero was in Dubai for the late December show, but was apparently several pounds over the 118 lb. limit and never showed for the Friday afternoon weigh in. The fight with Butler was off and eventually, the Puerto Rican based WBO ordered Casimero to meet Butler next or the belt would be vacated.
The Philippine champ is not a stranger to controversy, recently.
It started after Casimero was victorious in a lackluster 12 round decision in August over Guillermo Rigondeaux for the second defense of his WBO title. It improved him to 31-4, 20 KOs, and put him back in position for a possible fight with the legendary WBC champ and fellow Filipino, Nonito Donaire.
However, when Casimero would not enroll immediately in the VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Administration) drug program it caused controversy.
VADA is the voluntary doping organization that the WBC uses and does its testing for a longer period of time prior to fights. The WBC Bantamweight champ Donaire, suspicious of Casimero. wanted him enrolled in VADA immediately upon them verbally agreeing to fight.
However, that did not happen.
The controversy went public with Donaire’s wife Rachel repeatedly posting on Twitter that they had concerns about transparency with Casimero and him refusing to enter the VADA in the program.
Casimero then insulted her on social media and Nonito Donaire decided to “stand up” for his wife’s honor and walk away from their proposed fight. Donaire is now slated to rematch Japan’s Naoya “The Monster” Inoue in a huge World Bantamweight Unification bout later this Spring.
Meanwhile, Butler has been waiting patiently for the title shot and now, gets it in Liverpool in front of what will surely be a partisan home crowd.