No Casimero-Inoue fight for now, says Bob Arum
MANILA, Philippines—Naoya Inoue and John Riel Casimero’s Las Vegas debut will have to wait until the COVID-19 pandemic has been dealt with.
Top Rank Founder and CEO Bob Arum said in an interview with Crystina Ponchert hat the bantamweight title unification bout between Inoue and Casimero has been put on hold.
“Unfortunately, it looks like we have to put that fight on the back burner,” said Arum h/t BoxingScene.com. “Casimero has stayed in the United States, in Las Vegas and perhaps we can talk to his people and do another fight for him.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to nearly all sports events in the world and boxing cards were not an exception.
Inoue, the WBA and IBF World bantamweight champion, was set to face Casimero, the WBO titleholder, on April 25 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino but the pandemic pushed their respective Las Vegas debuts to a later date.
Inoue (19-0) hasn’t had a chance to leave for the United States before the health crisis while Casimero has been in Las Vegas since March 15 and is still training while awaiting clearance to travel back to the Philippines.
“Unfortunately, I would say no. They had relaxed rules, relatively relaxed rules regarding this pandemic. The cases in Japan have really picked up, so now Japan is under a state of emergency,” said Arum.
Arum and his company, though, are looking at the possibility of staging shows without an audience.
One solution that was raised was to fly Casimero to Japan for a fight in Inoue’s country, but that too has been scrapped.
“One thing we were considering is having Casimero go over to Japan and that fight in Japan,” said Arum. “At one point it appeared possible, it’s no longer possible and Inoue won’t be able to come here [US] anytime soon,” said Arum.
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