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Naoya Inoue vs. John Riel Casimero POSTPONED for April 25 due to coronavirus

Naoya Inoue

By Chris Williams: Top Rank has officially postponed the Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue vs. John Riel Casimero unification fight for April 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve postponed all their scheduled cards for March and April now.

IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) and WBO champ Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) were supposed to be fighting on ESPN on April 25 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Top Rank plans to reschedule the postponed cards as soon as possible.

Inoue coming off a big win over Donaire

Japanese star ‘Monster’ Inoue, 26, is coming off of a career-best victory over former four-division world champion Nonito Donaire last November in the World Boxing Super Series tournament in Saitama, Japan. Top Rank wanted to keep building Inoue’s popularity in the U.S by matching him against knockout artist Casimero, but the coronavirus has foiled their plans for the time being. This would have been a great fight for fans.

Casimero, 31, recently destroyed WBO 118-lb champion Zolanti Tete by a 3rd round knockout last November in Birmingham, UK. Going into that fight, Casimero was seen as the underdog by a lot of boxing fans. Tete had been beating everyone and had a 12-fight winning streak dating back to 2012.

Casimero was able to get in close and nail Tete with two big right hands that dropped him in the third round. Tete’s legs were gone after he got back to his feet, and he was easy prey for Casimero. Not long after, Casimero dropped Tete for a second time. After he got back up, Tete was finished off by Casimero.

Postponed fights involving Top Rank fighters:

  • Shakur Stevenson vs. Miguel Marriaga
  • Artur Beterbiev vs. Fanlong Meng
  • Michael Conlan vs. Belmar Preciado
  • Naoya Inoue vs. John Riel Casimero
  • Jessie Magdaleno vs. Sakaria Lukas
  • Mikaela Mayer vs. Melissa Hernandez

Top Rank’s press release on the news of the Inoue vs. Casimero fight being postponed:

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Top Rank has postponed all events scheduled for March and April. We are monitoring the situation closely and will reschedule the shows as soon as it’s safe and reasonable to do so.

“The health and safety of our fighters, staff and ESPN’s incredible production team is the most important thing as we plan our next steps,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We look forward to the day when we can bring our loyal fans world-class boxing once again, but exercising caution is the most prudent thing to do at this moment.”

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