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SPORTS SHORTS 156: NAOYA INOUE CAN WAIT FOR THE NONITO DONAIRE VS. JOHN RIEL CASIMERO WINNER


PhilBoxing.com




When Naoya Inoue annihilated Michael Dasmariñas by a third round stoppage, among those in attendance were WBO bantamweight titlist John Riel Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) and future Hall of Famer and new WBC champion Nonito Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs).

* * *

It was a rare occasion in which all three champions of the same division are in the same venue and it further inspired Inoue (21-0-0, 18 KOs) to come up with an impressive pound-for-pound fight result.

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“It was on my mind,” Inoue revealed to reporters of his intention to show to Donaire and Casimero his super power. “It served as motivation to show to them that I am out here as the best bantamweight in the world."

* * *

The amazing stoppage of Dasmariñas certainly sent a message for Inoue, as a deadly a three-division world champion, the 2014 Fighter of the Year and presently a top pound-for-pound ranked fighter.

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Inoue is regarded as the top bantamweight in the world, and his ranking would be challenged by the winner of the WBC and WBO All-Filipino unification fight between Donaire and Casimero which is set on August 14.

* * *

Inoue has already defeated Donaire, who despite being outpointed in their IBF/WBA unification on November 7, 2019, was able to show a credible match that was named by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) as the 2019 Fight of the Year.

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Casimero joined the bantamweight title scenario by scoring a shocking knockout win over Zolani Tete in three rounds to become a three-division and WBO bantamweight champion on November 30, 2019.

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Donaire grabbed his third bantamweight title and seventh overall in four divisions after an exhilarating fourth-round knockout of the then undefeated WBC bantamweight titlist Nordine Oubaali on May 29 in Carson, California.

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The several postponed mandatory title fight between Oubaali and Donaire was a Showtime schedule together with the proposed showdown of Casimero with WBA regular title holder Guillermo Rigondeaux.

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But the plans were modified when Donaire won the WBC bantamweight title, and both Filipino world titlists already showing their enthusiasm in fighting Inoue later this year. If the unification bouts would be realized then the first-ever undisputed bantamweight champion will be crowned.

* * *

Inoue agreed to such unification plans, even if he can't have another fight yet. "I can wait out that fight,” declared Inoue as quoted by Boxing Scene. “I don’t have a problem waiting until they fight and then face the winner."

* * *

Inoue said he doesn't think of any other fighter except Donaire and Casimero. "At bantamweight, those two are the only fighters who come to mind," concluded Inoue.

* * *

Bridgerweight is a weight division created by the World Boxing Council (WBC). The weight is named after six-year-old American, Bridger Walker, who saved his four-year-old sister from a stray dog in 2020. Bridger needed 90 stitches in his face to repair the injuries.

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After presenting Bridger Walker with a championship belt, naming him an "Honorary Champion" in July 2020, the WBC announced the establishment of bridgerweight four months later on November 9, 2020.

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Conceived for boxers weighing between 200 pounds (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb) and 224 pounds (102 kg; 16 st 0 lb), the division is set up by WBC between the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions. It is the 18th weight class to the 17 existing divisions in the WBC.

* * *

In December 2020, the WBC announced the first set of rankings for the new division, with Óscar Rivas at No. 1. In March 2021, the first bout for the new title was announced, with Rivas scheduled to fight No. 3 ranked Bryant Jennings on June 18, 2021. But it was later postponed to a date still to be determined.

* * *

Currently, none of the other three major sanctioning organizations (WBA, IBF, WBO) have adopted the new weight class. Editor-in-chief of The Ring, Doug Fischer, said in November 2020 when asked if the magazine would recognize the new weight class that he will refer it to the Ring Ratings Panel.

* * *

"For the time being, however, the answer is no. It’s brand new and the WBC has yet to arrange a bout for their inaugural title," said Fischer.

* * *

He added though that if the WBC will be able to put together a credible top 10-25 of small heavyweights who would agree to being ranked as "Bridgerweights" and if the concept will be adopted by the other major sanctioning organizations, he added, "Maybe we’ll have to recognize it.”

* * *

Deontay Wilder, who fought with his weight within the bridgerweight limits for several bouts of his career, said that he was not interested in fighting at the new weight.

* * *

The IBA, a regarded as a minor sanctioning organization, has a similar weight class named super cruiserweight for boxers weighing between 200 pounds (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb) and 210 pounds (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb).

* * *

Trae Young scored 48 points, while Clint Capela sank a go-ahead basket with 29.8 seconds left and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 116-113, in the first game of the Eastern Conference finals.

* * *

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Bucks. Jrue Holiday added 33 points and 10 assists.

* * *

American track and field sprinter Allyson Felix is the 2012 London Olympic champion at 200 meters and 2-time Olympic silver medalist in 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games. At 400 meters, she is the 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist.

* * *

Felix has won five additional Olympic gold medals as a member of the United States' women's relay teams, three at 4 × 400 meters (2008-2016), and two at 4 x 100 meters (2012 and 2016). The 2012 U.S. Olympic 4 x 100 meters relay team also set the women's 4x100 meters world-record that still remains unbroken.

* * *

Felix is the only female track and field athlete in history to win six Olympic gold medals, and tied with Merlene Ottey as the most decorated female track and field Olympian ever, with a total harvest of nine Olympic medals.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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