John Riel Casimero out of title defense vs Paul Butler
MANILA, Philippines–Filipino boxer John Riel Casimero is out of is mandatory WBO bantamweight title defense against Paul Butler in the Probellum: Revolution card on Saturday in Dubai.
Casimero’s name had already been stricken off the promotional materials for the fight as seen during Friday’s weigh-in. Replacing him in the main event is Joseph Agbeko of Ghana.
In a statement, Probellum said the Filipino boxer had to pull out of the bout “after being unable to make it to the weigh in.” The promotion also wished him a speedy recovery.
Reports said that Casimero was taken to the hospital. In a Facebook post, Casimero’s Cutman Stephen Lunas said the Filipino is suffering “viral gastritis.”
“Viral gastritis sucks,” posted Lunas. “But first and foremost the health of an athlete is more important than the sport itself. Get well soon champ Quadro Alas. Fight another day!”
— Probellum (@probellum) December 8, 2021
Casimero, who beat Guillermo Rigondeaux via split decision in August to retain his title, was seen attending the public workout hosted by Probellum at City Walk Dubai on Thursday.
Reports also suggested that Casimero has been stripped of his title but the WBO has yet to make any official announcement. The Butler fight would’ve been Casimero’s third defense of the title.
Other Filipino fights in the Probellum card are Donnie Nietes and Jayson Mama.