Casimero’s title defense vs Paul Butler rescheduled for April in England
MANILA, Philippines—John Riel Casimero’s defense of his WBO world bantamweight title against mandatory challenger Paul Butler is pushing through after the sanctioning body approved the fight for April 23 in Liverpool, England.
Casimero was supposed to defend his strap against Butler on December 11 in Dubai but the Filipino champion pulled out of the fight a day before the official weigh-ins due to viral gastritis.
“Please be advised that the WBO World Championship Committee grants sanction approval for the above-referenced Bantamweight Mandatory bout between John Riel Casimero and Paul Butler, scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom,” wrote the WBO in a letter to Harrison Whitman, Probellum’s Chief Strategy and Legal Officer.
Casimero (31-4) held the title since November 2019 when he stopped Zolani Tete in three rounds, but he has yet to make a mandatory defense of the strap.
WBO stressed that Casimero, who has had two voluntary defenses against Duke Micah and Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2020 and 2021, has to fight in a mandatory as per the organization’s regulations.
The WBO also reserved its right to strip Casimero of the title in the event the Filipino does not attend the weigh-ins or the fight itself.
“In the event that Casimero does not attend the official weigh-in for any reason whatsoever, refuses to fight, is injured or suffers an injury, or is unavailable to participate regardless the circumstances, the Bantamweight Championship Title will be declared Vacant ‘Ipso Facto’ and with Casimero being rated in the Bantamweight division per WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests,” wrote the WBO.
Similarly, the WBO will find the next top contender for Casimero to defend against if Butler (33-2) fails to attend the weigh-ins or refuses to fight the champion.