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Bob Arum wants John Riel Casimero to take purse reduction for Naoya Inoue fight


By Kenneth Friedman: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says John Riel Casimero may need to take a pay cut for a 118-pound unification fight between him and Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue can take place.

If Arum can’t get Casimero to agree to a purse reduction, then he plans to match Inoue against #3 WBA, #4 IBF Jason Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs).

Without the gate money from a live crowd, it’ll require both fighters to get less than what they originally were supposed to get.

IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) and WBO 118-pound champ Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) were initially supposed to fight on April 25 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Bay, but the global pandemic altered those plans.

Casimero waiting on Inoue

Financially, the situation now is far different than what it would have been had the two talented 118-pounders met in April.

The Filipino Casimero has been in the U.S for the last four months since March, waiting for Inoue and keeping busy training. His promoter Sean Gibbons is still interested in making the Casimero-Inoue fight, but they need ‘Monster’ Inoue to get into the U.S for them to try and make the fight happen.

Gibbons wants to see Inoue inside the U.S before he starts talking to Casimero about accepting a reduced purse for the fight. Inoue has already been approved for his visa to enter the United States.

Still, he has a final interview with the U.S embassy in Tokyo, Japan, a week from now before he can prepare to leave the country.


Arum would like to do the fight between Inoue and Casimero in September without fans.

“We have to talk to Casimero, is he willing to take a reduction like Inoue is?” Arum said to ESPN. “If the answer is no, then we can put Jason Moloney in with Inoue, which may be an even better fight.

“Again, we talked to Casimero about a purse when the good times were rolling, and when Japanese high rollers were going to come in and watch the fight, and we could get enough money from the hotel casino to allow us to do it. That’s gone now,” said Arum.

Moloney would replace Casimero for Inoue

Few boxing fans would agree with Bob Arum on his opinion of Inoue vs. Moloney being a better fight than Inoue-Casimero. The 29-year-old Australian Moloney lost to Emmanuel Rodriguez by a 12 round decision in 2018. Casimero would likely beat Moloney by knockout if the two fought.

Moloney is a brawler, and that might be the reason why Arum considers him a better fight for Inoue. The fact that Arum is mentioning wanting to stick Moloney in with Inoue makes you wonder how committed he is to make the fight with Casimero.

You have to admit that Casimero is a significant risk for Arum, and it wouldn’t be a good thing for him if Inoue gets beat. Arum is trying to turn Inoue into a superstar in the U.S, but he’s got his work cut out for him. The 118-pound division isn’t a popular one with American boxing fans.


Casimero, who is promoted by Manny Pacquiao Promotions, recently knocked out WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete in the third round on November 3 in Birmingham, England.

For his part, Inoue 27, defeated WBA bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire by a hard-fought 12 round unanimous decision on November 7 in Saitama, Japan. The fight saw both fighters hurt by big shots, but ultimately, Inoue had a little too much for Donaire.

Inoue came out of the fight with a broken nose, a fractured eye ridge. Donaire has been vocal about wanting a rematch with Inoue, but that fight will need to wait until next year if then.


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