John Riel Casimero’s bid to fight Naoya Inoue hits snag
MANILA, Philippines—John Riel Casimero’s chase for a clash with pound-for-pound king Naoya Inoue hit a speed bump on Thursday.
Looking for a statement victory that could earn him a date with the undefeated Inoue, Casimero’s bout against fellow former world champion Yukinori Oguni of Japan ended in disappointing fashion.
Casimero had to settle for a technical draw against Oguni after an accidental clash of heads in the fourth round abruptly ended the fight.
In the super bantamweight main event between former world champions John Riel Casimero (33-4-1) 🇵🇭 and Yukinori Oguni 小國以載 (21-2-3) 🇯🇵, the fight unfortunately ends due to an injury in the 4th round. The decision is a technical draw.
The first 3 rounds were very competitive,… pic.twitter.com/mFI5pmUr1e
— Everyday is for Boxing – Stanza Boxing Schedule (@PermantexG) October 12, 2023
A cut on Oguni’s right eyebrow prompted the referee to stop the bout.
Two judges scored it 29-28 for Casimero while the other had it, 29-28, for Oguni.
With the outcome, the 34-year-old Casimero (33-4-1, 22KOs), a three-division champion, lost another opportunity to make a case for a sought-after showdown with Inoue.
Casimero has had his sights set on Inoue for several years now ever since their scheduled fight in April 2020 did not push through due to the pandemic.
Since that time, Casimero’s career has been a wild rollercoaster ride that included getting stripped of the WBO bantamweight title in May of last year after twice failing to defend it against Paul Butler over various reasons.
Inoue, on the other hand, continued his ascent. He claimed the WBC and WBO super bantamweight belts last July just seven months after becoming undisputed champion at 118 pounds.
Still, it was a relatively good card for Filipino boxers, who went two of three against the home bets in the undercard on Thursday.
Froilan Saludar knocked out Keita Kurihara in the opening round to win the OPBF bantamweight belt while flyweight Vince Paras edged Kai Ishizawa by split decision.
Jeo Santisima, a former world title contender, was not as fortunate after falling to Kenji Fujita by unanimous decision in their featherweight fight. It was the 27-year-old Santisima’s fourth defeat in five outings.