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Naoya Inoue and John Riel Casimero to fight on April 25 on ESPN

Image: Naoya Inoue and John Riel Casimero to fight on April 25 on ESPN

By Dean Berman: A unification fight between IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue and WBO champion John Riel Casimero will be taking place on April 25 on ESPN in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to @MikeCoppinger. Three titles at bantamweight will be on the line for this fight.

There will be an announcement for the Inoue vs. Casimero soon. The two fighters have come to terms for a 118-lb unification fight that will take place on a Top Rank Boxing promoted show on ESPN.

Naoya Inoue took damage against Donaire

Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) is coming off of a big career best win in beating WBA bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on November 7 in Saitama, Japan. The fight was the final of the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament.

While that was the biggest win of Inoue’s eight-year professional career, it was also his toughest by far. Donaire broke Inoue’s orbital ridge over his right eye, cut him, and fractured his nose. Donaire, 37, did all that despite missing a lot of shots due to the defensive focus by Inoue.

Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) recently defeated WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete by a 3rd round knockout on November 30 in Birmingham, England. Tete (28-4, 21 KOs) made the mistake of letting Casimero get in too close to him, and then relaxing. What was apparent was the 31-year-old Tete didn’t realize how dangerous Casimero in close, being that he’s short and powerful.

‘Sources: Naoya Inoue and John Riel Casimero have agreed to terms for a 118-pound title unification bout, likely April 25 in Las Vegas, on an ESPN platform. Will be Inoue’s Top Rank/ESPN debut. Inoue’s win over Nonito Donaire was voted Fight of the Year. @Idecboxing first on news said @MikeCoppinger.

John Riel Casimero has the experience to win

Casimero has won world titles in 3 divisions since he turned pro in 2007. He’s got the punching power to defeat Inoue, but his hand speed is lacking, and he can be hit. If Inoue is able to put hands on Casimero, he can potentially beat him.

Casimero has past defeated during his career to these fighters:

  • Jonas Sultan
  • Amnat Ruenroeng
  • Moruti Mthalane
  • Ramon Garcia Hirales

The only guy to stop Casimero during his career is the power punching Mthalane (39-2, 26 KOs), and that was many years ago in 2011. A lot has changed with Casimero, and it’s unclear whether he would fall apart in the same way with Inoue hitting him hard.

The slow hand speed of Casimero could make it hard for him to land his shots against Inoue without getting hit hard. For Casimero to have a chance of winning this fight, he’s going to need to take Inoue’s shots.

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