Nonito Donaire cancels John Riel Casimero fight

By Boxing News - 06/30/2021 - Comments

By Chris Williams: WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire has chosen to pull out of his August 14th unification match against WBO 118-lb champion John Riel Casimero because he delayed submitting paperwork for VADA testing.

Donaire, 38, and Casimero were previously planning on headlining on Showtime on August 14th with the winner to take on IBF/WBA champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue for the undisputed bantamweight championship.

Additionally, Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) also complained of misogynistic behavior from Casimero’s team aimed at his wife. Casimero would have been a dangerous fight for Donaire, and it’s possible he would have lost.

It’s too bad Donaire won’t go through with the fight with Casimero because it puts Inoue in a tough spot to decide whether to take the fight himself.

If Donaire doesn’t fight Casimero, ‘Monster’ Inoue may need to do the job himself.

Donaire will now likely face Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs) straightaway with three titles on the line. The fight now means much less than it would have because Donaire hasn’t fully redeemed himself since losing to Inoue in 2019.

For Inoue, 28, it’s got to be disappointing that Donaire isn’t going through with his fight with Casimero because he wanted the opportunity to try and become the four-belt champion at 118 before he moves up in weight to 122.

Now with Donaire’s decision to pull out of the fight with Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) put Inoue in a position where he’ll only get a chance to fight for three belts instead of four.

It’ll now be up to Inoue to decide whether to fight with Donaire with three titles or begin negotiations with Casimero to fight him first. Inoue is a warrior, and it would be interesting to see if he chooses to take the fight that Donaire woulldn’t.

You can argue that Inoue should go through Casimero first and save Donaire for last to have a chance to win all four titles.

As long as Donaire stays busy while Inoue is taking care of Casimero, it should still be an excellent fight.

If Inoue decides to fight Casimero first, Donaire will do well to face one of these talented fighters while ‘Monster’ is busy:

  • Gary Russell Jr
  • Reymart Gaballo
  • Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
  • Guillermo Rigondeaux

Image: Nonito Donaire cancels John Riel Casimero fight

Some boxing fans on social media believe that Donaire is using the comments made by Casimero’s team and his delay in submitting the paperwork for VADA as a convenient excuse to swerve what would be a risky fight for him.

Casimero is a fighter with the power and talent to potentially beat Donaire and wreck his dreams of a rematch with Inoue.

Donaire’s statement on why he’s chosen to pull out of the fight with Casimero:

“I STAND for VADA 24/7/365 testing for ALL boxers. This should never be refused or delayed…We canceled this fight when they delayed turning in the VADA paperwork for 5 days.

“We have proof that the opposing side was neither honest nor forthcoming in providing the proper information to begin VADA drug testing. AFTER we canceled the fight, then and only then did the paperwork suddenly appear.

“As much as I want to knock him out, I’m going to take the high road and instead of highlighting his misbehaviors, I’m not going to give his example the stage or the payday that comes with it.”

It’ll be interesting to see which direction Inoue goes in for his next fight. Does he give up on his dream of becoming the undisputed champion at bantamweight, or does he stick it out and take the fight that Donaire wouldn’t against Casimero?

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It would show courage on Inoue’s part to take on Casimero, as he’s a great talent and might be the second-best fighter in the bantamweight division.

If Donaire doesn’t want to fight Casimero for whatever reason, perhaps Inoue will be the one to step up to the plate to face this dangerous talent.