Donaire, Casimero set for unification fight in August
MANILA, Philippines — Finesse fighter Nonito Donaire and bruiser John Riel Casimero go on a collision course in a world championship match-up that draws significant milestones for Philippine boxing.
Aside from having the world bantamweight unification title on the line, the fight, scheduled for Aug. 14, finally broke the long-held belief against pitting Filipinos in title fights.
Although it’s not the first, the Donaire-Casimero fight is hands down the biggest all-Filipino match-up ever on account of the fighters’ worldwide relevance: Two highly explosive fighters currently holding the WBC and WBO belts.
Donaire, a four-division champ eager to finish his career in a blaze of glory, confirmed the fight on his social media accounts.
Invite 4m @KnuckleheadSean "Nonito Donaire, u want some of this, it's here for u." Pressed Yes on the invite. Rachel n Richard did magic. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, Aug 14 switcheroo.
Ty to Richard, Rachel, PBC, TGB and Showtime.
Photo by Hector De La Cruz pic.twitter.com/91mNP53Pd1
— Nonito Donaire (@filipinoflash) June 19, 2021
The announcement was only hours before another bantamweight champ, Japanese Naoya Inoue, locked horns with Filipino Michael Dasmarinas in Las Vegas. Inoue demolished Dasmariñas in just three rounds to retain his WBA (Super) and IBF belts.
Casimero has been very vocal in challenging Inoue since their fight got canceled several times. Donaire, on the other hand, broke Inoue’s eye socket and exposed his overhype before losing by decision in late 2019.
At 38, Donaire is hoping to bookend a career that was once thought could rival that of Manny Pacquiao. Until he encountered rough patches in heavier classes over the years.
He has since come back to 118lbs, thus regaining the stature — and the distinction of becoming the oldest bantam champ — after wresting the WBC belt over erstwhile unbeaten Nordine Oubaali in May.
It could also cash in on the venue, Dignity Health Center in Carson, California, which has a big Fil-American population.
Likewise, it puts the country on the level of great boxing countries like Mexico and the United States whose boxers cross paths on a regular basis.
The fight was made possible, according to reports, after Cuban’s stylish fighter Guillermo Rigondeaux agreed to step aside as Casimero’s opponent.
With his highly defensive fighting method, Rigondeaux snapped Donaire’s string of victories that made him Fighter of the Year back in 2012.
It would be held exactly a week before Manny Pacquiao clashes with Errol Spence for the welterweight championship in Las Vegas.
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