Rigondeaux, Casimero ready for potential bout
MANILA, Philippines—A bantamweight title unification could be in the works after WBA regular champion Guillermo Rigondeaux challenged WBO titleholder John Riel Casimero for a potential bout in 2021.
As per BoxingScene.com, Rigondeaux sees Casimero as his next viable opponent in 118 pounds and he’s hoping that they would eventually square off in either March or April.
“[Casimero is] the one I want. It’s the perfect one for my desire to unify titles. I have the WBA and he owns the WBO. So I have to go over him to take his title and keep adding wins over champions,” said Rigondeaux.
The 40-year-old Cuban was once of the best super bantamweights in the world starting his WBA reign in 2012 and adding the WBO 122-lb title just a year later when he beat Filipino legend Nonito Donaire.
Rigondeaux’s (20-1) only loss in his career happened in 2017 when he fell to Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO World super featherweight championship.
Casimero (30-4), meanwhile, began his championship career as the interim champion in April 2019, defeating Ricardo Espinoza Franco before becoming a full titleholder in November of that year after a third round technical knockout win over Zolani Tete.
He stopped Duke Micah in September for his first defense.
Rigondeaux said that he respects Casimero and he’s ready to adapt to whatever the Filipino ultimately throws at him.
“He’s a veteran and I respect him as a champion, but I have [respect] for everyone and I know how to adapt to the opponent, whoever it is, when the bell rings. I’ve fought in several divisions and I’ve been in this sport for a long time,” said Rigondeaux.
Casimero, for his part, did not shy away from the challenge.
“Let’s go, bro! No running! Just destroying each other’s face,” said Casimero.
A fight against Rigondeaux would be the biggest one in Casimero’s career after his scheduled April 2020 bout against Naoya Inoue—the holder of The Ring, IBF, and WBA Super bantamweight titles—was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.