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Target date for Casimero bout


PhilBoxing.com




There’s a working date for the triple bantamweight championship unification fight between WBO titlist JohnRiel Casimero and super WBA/IBF ruler Naoya (The Monster) Inoue with MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons setting July 25 as the target at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Casimero’s trainer Nonoy Neri cancelled a flight back to Manila last Saturday and has decided to stay in Las Vegas until the fight pushes through. Casimero flew into the US last February, initially training in Miami then relocating to Las Vegas a month later. Neri joined Casimero in Las Vegas last March.

“We’ll get a clearer picture of the situation by next week,” said Gibbons. “But right now, we’re going with the target date of the last Saturday of July which is July 25. Without a fight date, it’s hard to sustain your intensity in training. It’s hard to focus. But now with a fight date, everyone’s excited and it’s back to serious Monster-hunting business.”

The other day, Gibbons visited the house where Casimero, his brother Jason, Neri and cutman Ting Ariosa are staying in Las Vegas. A portion of the house has been transformed into a gym. “Casimero was on fire,” said Gibbons who watched the fighter work out. “He’s out to bring down the Monster.” Gibbons sent over a video showing Casimero pounding the heavy bag with both hands.

“I was told by Mr. (Akihiko) Honda that Inoue is coming and we’ll be fighting in Las Vegas,” said Gibbons. An option to stage the fight in Japan isn’t on the table. When the target date was set, Neri decided it would be better to stay in Las Vegas. “Nonoy needed to take care of things with his family back home but that’s now sorted out,” said Gibbons. “We’ve arranged to send money to his family so that’s no longer a worry. If Nonoy left, he would’ve had to be quarantined for 14 days in Manila then he would’ve tried to book a flight back to Las Vegas where he would’ve had to undergo another quarantine. So now that there’s a target date, we’ve got a clear path.”

Gibbons said Casimero is preparing for the Monster, nobody else. There were earlier reports that if Inoue couldn’t go to the US, Casimero would fight Joshua Greer in a championship defense or another contender in a non-title tune-up. Gibbons said after talking with Honda, he was assured that the Inoue fight is a go and no other bout is under consideration.

Gibbons said if Inoue arrives by June 1, he’ll have more than enough time to acclimatize. The tentative plan is for the Japanese to fly in mid-May. Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who signed up Inoue to a multi-year promotional contract last November, is now working on health protocols to submit to the Nevada and California athletic commissions for approval to stage boxing events by June. The protocols may include banning of spectators and spraying the fighters with a disinfectant in the ring before the first bell.


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


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