By Jeff Aronow: WBA ‘regular’ bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux is predicting an easy win over WBO 118-lb belt-holder John Riel Casimero next month on SHOWTIME in their main event unification match at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The broadcast begins on Showtime at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
This is one of the rare moments in 5’7″ Rigondeaux’s career in which he WON’T be the smaller man when he gets in there with the 5’4″ Casimero.
The fighters that have beaten Casimero during his career have used their boxing skills to get the better of him. It’s tougher to beat Casimero in a war than to outbox him because he leaves himself open with attacking style.
Fighters that have outboxed Casimero
- Jonas Sultan
- Amnat Ruenroeng
- Ramon Garcia Hirales
Casimero has won his last six fights since losing to Sultan by a 12 round unanimous decision in September 2017. In Casimero’s last two fights, he’s beaten Duke Micah and Zolani Tete, two excellent boxer/punchers.
Tete was the WBO bantamweight champion when Casimero obliterated him by a third round knockout in September 2019 in Birmingham, England.
Rigondeaux to ruin Casimero’s dreams
“I have plans to ruin Casimero’s dreams,” said Rigondeaux. “I know he has a lot of power, but he’s fighting a man with excellent boxing skills and a high ring IQ.”
Rigondeaux won the vacant WBA ‘regular’ 118-lb title last February with a 12 round split decision win over Liborio Solis.
He outboxed the hard-hitting 39-year-old Solis, who still has a lot left in the tank despite being of advanced age for a boxer.
The victory for Rigondeaux was his third consecutive since losing to Vasily Lomachenko by a sixth-round arm-injury stoppage in September 2017.
That was a fight in which Rigondeaux, a super bantamweight at the time, went up two weight divisions to challenge Lomachenko for his WBO super featherweight title.
It was a crazy idea for Rigondeaux to move up to 130 to take on the best fighter in the division in Lomachenko, but he at least tried.
“I’m going to box circles around Casimero and show him what ‘El Chacal’ is all about,” said Rigondeaux.
There’s a perfect chance that Rigondeaux will outbox Casimero and potentially stop him if he fights in his normal aggressive manner. Casimero has to brawl with Rigondeaux to have a shot at winning, but it could end badly for him.
Rigondeaux tends to pick apart wild brawlers like Casimero, particularly when they’re wildly swinging for the fences with every punch.
That’s a risky way of fighting against Rigondeaux because he’s an excellent counter puncher, and he possesses greater power than Casimero’s.
“My trainer Ronnie Shields and I have been working on some new tricks, so don’t be surprised if I knock him out,” said Rigondeaux.
It sounds like Shields and Rigondeaux will be looking to counter Casimero’s head off on August 14th. If you’re Casimero, you’re going to want to fight smart and not give Rigondeaux so many opportunities to land his clean counter shots.
Although the 32-year-old Casimero is eight years younger than the 40-year-old Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KOs, he doesn’t possess the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s hand speed or punching power.
Rigondeaux hits harder than Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs), but he doesn’t possess his work rate. That’s the advantage Casimero has. He’s like a human tsunami, and it could be a problem if he forces Rigondeaux to fight in an all-out brawl.
Casimero was supposed to be facing WBC 118-lb champion Nonito Donaire in a unification fight with the winner to face IBF/WBA champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue.
After getting upset at some of the trash-talking done by Casimero and some of his team members, Donaire decided to pull out of the fight.
However, boxing fans widely believed that Donaire didn’t like the match-up with Casimero, so he opted to pull out, using the trash-talking that he’d been doing as an excuse.
Rigondeaux then stepped in to take the fight, as it’s a huge opportunity for him. If he beats Casimermo, he’s got a great opportunity to fight Inoue for a huge payday.
Rigondeaux isn’t the type of person that will pull out of a fight if his opponents insult him. That’s not in Rigo’s make-up to pull out of a fight after being bad-mouthed.
As such, Rigondeaux will be looking to outbox the slower Casimero and then face ‘Monster’ Inoue for the undisputed bantamweight championship in early 2022.
As for Donaire, he’s likely to face Inoue next, but instead of four belts on the line, it’ll just be three due to Nonito deciding that he didn’t want to fight Casimero.
In the undercard of the Rigondeaux vs. Casimero card on August 14th, unbeaten bantamweight Gary Antonio Russell (18-0, 12 KOs) faces Emmanuel Rodriguez for the WBA interim 118-lb title in the chief support bout.
Also on the card is Rau’shee Warren battling Damien Vazquez in a 10 round fight.