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John Riel Casimero needs a tune-up while waiting for Naoya Inoue

John Riel Casimero Naoya Inoue

By Jim Maltzman: John Riel Casimero has decided to stay in the U.S and train while he waits for his promoter Sean Gibbons to find him a tune-up opponent.

The WBO bantamweight champion Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) is hoping to face IBF/WBA 118-pound champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue, but he’s not certain whether he can get in the country.

Top Rank boss Bob Arum states that Inoue is having issues with his visa. Inoue and Casimero were previously supposed to be fighting on April 25 in Las Vegas, Nevada, but the pandemic foiled those plans. Arum is now hoping to schedule the Inoue vs. Casimero unification fight in September or October in front of a small crowd in Las Vegas. Arum wants to have 2,000 fans attend the Inoue-Casimero fight.

If Inoue can’t make it to the U.S by the end of the month, then Gibbons will move ahead and schedule a money-making contest for the Filipino native Casimero. The plan-B options for Casimero are these three fighters:

  • Jason Moloney
  • Pedro Guevara
  • Rau’shee Warren

Tune-up needed for Casimero

Inoue, 26, is having problems with his visa in trying to fly over from Japan to the U.S to fight the 31-year-old Casimero.  With Inoue now looking unlikely, MP Promotions President Gibbons will be looking for a warmup opponent for Casimero.

The former three-division world champion Casimero left the Philippines to come to the United States to train before the pandemic hit. Now that he’s in the U.S, he doesn’t want to leave. He wants to get a fight in while he waits on Inoue coming over to the States eventually.

“We need to get Casimero in top shape,” said Gibbon to the manilatimes.net. “If no Inoue fight in 2020, we need to make money. I am looking at a lot of options, but nothing [final] yet.”

The guys that Gibbons is looking at to possibly face Casimero are talented fighters, who will give him a tough fight.

Rau’shee Warren, Mexican Pedro Guevara or Australian Jason Moloney

Guevara (36-3-1, 21 KOs) gave Casimero a lot of problems in their fight in 2012 in losing a narrow 12 round split decision. The 31-year-old Guevara has won his last seven fights since losing to Kenshiro Teraji in 2017.

Former WBA bantamweight champion Rau’shee Warren (17-3, 4 KOs) recently lost to Nordine Oubaali. However, in 2017, Warren beat McJoe Arroyo, and he also has wins over Juan Carlos Payano, Jose Luis Araiza, and German Meraz.

The 29-year-old Jason Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) has won his last four fights since losing a narrow 12 round split decision to Emmanuel Rodriguez in 2018. In Moloney’s last fight, he defeated Leonardo Baez.

“I’m looking at Mexican Pedro Guevara and others,” said Gibbons.


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