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Casimero won’t leave Vegas


PhilBoxing.com





WBO bantamweight champion JohnRiel Casimero has been in the US for three months, moving from Miami to Las Vegas, and is staying put until there is clarity on when he battles super WBA/IBF titlist Naoya Inoue or anyone else in the ring.

Casimero’s trainer Nonoy Neri flew in to join the fighter in Miami last March and is now in Las Vegas, too. Casimero, his brother Jason, Neri and cutman Ting (Sugar) Ariosa live in a four-bedroom rented home provided by MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons. Neri planned to leave for Manila on Saturday to attend to family matters and thought of returning to Las Vegas in the first week of June. But he has decided to stay in Las Vegas with the Inoue fight likely to happen in late July. Mexican strength/conditioning coach Memo Heredia will fly in from Miami this weekend and work with Casimero to keep him in shape for whatever eventuality.

At the moment, Gibbons said Inoue remains Casimero’s next opponent, nobody else. “Casimero is still presently fighting Inoue who's working on getting into the US,” said Gibbons. “The fight has not been cancelled. I spoke to Mr. (Akihiko) Honda (Inoue’s manager) and he’s planning to bring Inoue to the US around May 10. We’re hoping to set the fight sometime in late July.” The blockbuster triple championship unification showdown was originally scheduled at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas last Saturday.

Gibbons said Casimero is adjusting to the situation and realizes the best option is to stay in the US. “The uncertainty of a new date is making things difficult because you don’t want to burn out over-training,” he said. “But it’s a short time in a long life to sacrifice. To go home now isn’t a good idea because of the lockdown. It’ll disrupt Casimero’s training. This is Casimero’s big opportunity. When he beats Inoue, he’s looking at paydays of over $1 million in the future. He’ll be earning three or four times more than he’s ever earned. For now, the fight with Inoue is a go and the Monster is coming to Las Vegas. Our working fight date is July 25.”

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who signed Inoue to a multi-year promotional contract last November, said he can’t confirm if the fighter can go to the US. “The problem we have is the travel ban,” said Arum. “Right now, what we’re concentrating on is American fighters or foreign fighters who are in the US. That way, we don’t have to worry about bringing them in from abroad.” Arum said if Inoue isn’t available, Casimero could fight WBO No. 1 contender Joshua Greer instead. Last year, Greer came off the canvas to halt Filipino Giovanni Escaner in Minnesota. Greer, 25, is unbeaten in his last 19 outings since 2015 and has a 22-1-1 record, with 12 KOs. Gibbons said Casimero is focused on bringing down Inoue, not Greer.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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