Sorry, Inoue is not yet ready
The flash report about a hotly brewing world bantamweight unification championship between the Philippines’ Johnriel Casimero and Japan’s Naoya Inoue duly aroused Filipino fans earlier in the week.
The matchup promised a fierce and classy pound-for-pound battle.
Casimero called out Inoue after his third round demolition of long-reigning world bantamweight titlist Zolani Tete of South Africa in England last Saturday.
The unbeaten Inoue, on the other hand, readily responded with a sharp nod, saying he would love to punch it out with the raging Filipino road warrior.
This sent the current WBO Convention in Tokyo astir. Sean Gibbons, president of the Manny Pacquiao Promotions that handles Casimero, prepared to fly to Tokyo from England for formal negotiations.
Gibbons said it was a bout that Sen. Paquiao truly wanted.
Casimero was also invited by WBO president Paco Valcarcel to fly to Tokyo and grace the convention.
Inoue, fresh from his tough conquest of Nonito Donaire on Nov. 7, received the best achievement award from the WBO in the Tokyo convention.
Inoue won the Muhammad Ali Cup for winning the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) final over Donaire.
From England, Gibbons rushed to Tokyo, but Casimero was left to head home as he failed to secure a Japanese visa in time.
Anyway, the first official word from Inoue’s manager, Akihito Honda, did not augur well for the promising bantamweight championship.
Honda said Inoue, who suffered fractures around his right in his brutal clash with Donaire, was still in the process of recovery.
“Inoue wants to heal first, that’s the verdict,” MP Promotions president Sean Gibons said.
Top Rank which has signed up Inoue to a multifight contract, said the planned negotiation did not progress.
There also rose the possibility that Inoue could fight WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Quobaali next.
But Top Rank assured Inoue vs. Casimero would happen “next or after next.”
It’s a fight that’s bound to shake up the world pound-for-pound rankings.
Inoue, with the neat looks of a schoolboy, against the rugged muscle-bound Casimero, newest Filipino boxing star.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.