Naoya Inoue reacts to Casimero calling him out: ‘I’m interested’
By Kenneth Friedman: IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue says he’s interested in facing John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) after he called him out last Saturday night following his upset 3rd round knockout win over WBO 118-lb champion Zolani Tete (28-4, 21 KOs) at the Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, England.
“I became interested in fighting Casimero,” said Inoue on his Twitter account last Saturday night.
Inoue vs. Casimero would be an excellent fight for early 2020, as long as ‘The Monster’ Inoue is healthy enough to return to the ring at that time. Earlier this month, Inoue suffered a cracked right orbital bone, cut over the same eye, and a broken nose in his 12 round unanimous decision win over Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs) on November 7 at the Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan.
Inoue still recovering from injuries
The two were fighting in the final of the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament. Although Inoue got the victory, he ended up with injuries from the heavy punches from Donaire.
Casimero likely won’t do well against Inoue though, considering his hand speed isn’t on the same level, and he’s shorter than him at 5’4″. Moreover, Casimero’s low work rate would put him at a big disadvantage against Inoue. He’s not going to beat the Japanse fighter landing only occasional shots.
Casimero calls out Inoue
Moments after dethroning Tete, Casimero, 30, called out Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) in daring him to face him next in a unification match. Inoue had been talking about wanting to face WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12 KO) next, but he might change his mind and take the fight with Casimero instead.
Ultimately, it’ll be up to Inoue’s co-promoters at Top Rank Boxing in the U.S. They’ll likely choose for Inoue to face the 33-year-old Oubaali next through, since his last 3 fights have been shown in the United States. Oubaali is better known in the U.S than Casimero. He may not be as talented as Casimero, but he’s better known.
Casimero didn’t land a punch until round 3
The former two division world champion Casimero came into the fight with the 31-year-old Tete as a big underdog, but it looked as if he was on his way to losing after the first two rounds. Tete was controlling the fight with his body shots, and using his reach to keep Casimero on the outside.
In the 3rd, Casimero landed a right hand to the temple of Tete that hurt him, causing him to bend forward. What was interesting about the fight was that Casimero hadn’t landed anything for the first 2 rounds of the contest. When Casimero did land a right hand in the 3rd, he hurt Tete with that shot.
Casimero landed a follow up right hand that knocked Tete down. Tete staggered and fell against the ropes after he got back to his feet. He literally staggered from the center of the ring all the way to the ropes BEFORE the action had restarted.
Wow, what an upset! 😱
Johnriel Casimero stops Zolani Tete in the third round!
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) November 30, 2019
When the referee Steve Gray asked Tete to walk towards, he looked on unsteady as he swayed when walking forward. The referee allowed the fight to continue despite Tete being incredibly hurt. Casimero then backed Tete against the ropes, and nailed him with eight consecutive shots that sent him down for the second time in the round.
Fight should have been stopped after first knockdown
Tete once again made it back to his feet, and stood on unsteady legs when the referee motioned for the fight to continue. Casimero then finished him off with a few unanswered shots that caused the referee Steve Gray to stop the fight. The time of the stoppage was at 2:14 of round 3.
The referee should have stopped the fight after the first knockdown.
Casimero came into the fight as a former two division world champion. He had captured world titles at 108 and 112. It was thought that Casimero lacked the size to win a world title at 118, as he had failed when he moved up to 115 in losing to Jonas Sultan by a 12 round unanimous decision in September 2017. Sultan (16-5, 10 KOs) that recently lost lopsided 12 round decision defeats to Jerwin Ancajas and Athenkosi Dumezweni.