Casimero: ‘Next is Nonito Donaire and then finally Naoya Inoue’

It was not the most exciting nights of boxing, but in the end, WBO Bantamweight World Champion John Riel Casimero(31-4, 21 KOs) defeated two-division champion Guillermo Rigondeaux(20-2, 13 KOs) by split decision to retain his title Saturday night from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California(Showtime).

One judge scored the fight 115-113 for Rigondeaux, which was overruled by two scores of 117-111 and 116-112.

The first round of this fight was fun, and it appeared that a Casimero left hook to the back of Rigondeaux’s head would lead to a knockdown, but referee Jerry Cantu ruled it a slip. While Rigondeaux was on a knee, Casimero threw several punches, and ultimately, he received a warning from the referee.

After the first round, Rigondeaux took “the air out of the ball” and pretty much was on the defensive. While he would connect with Casimero at times with some hard shots, Rigondeaux was defense first. Casimero was forced to chase him, and at times he had some success. 

Casimero got one of the best wins of his career, but he wanted a knockout.

“My expectations were for a knockout,” Casimero said. “Me and all my fans wanted that. I did my best to knock him out, but he was just running and not fighting.”

Casimero ended the fight with a narrow 47 to 44 edge in punches landed, including a 41-28 tally in power punches.

Although the fans disliked his style on Saturday night, Rigondeaux thought he did enough to win the fight.

“Nobody wants to fight with me because I frustrate them in the ring,” said Rigondeaux. “I landed the punches that I needed to in order to win the fight tonight. This is how I win. I have these God-given skills, and this is the way I display them. I’m a unique fighter. It’s my style, and it’s the only one I know. You can see I’m still better than anyone else in the lighter weight classes, and I’m going to keep fighting.”

After making the second defense of his title, Casimero made it known who he wants next.

“I had a three-fight plan,” said Casimero. “First was Rigondeaux, and I beat him. Next is Nonito Donaire and then finally Naoya Inoue.

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/Premier Boxing Champions

Casimero on Rigondeaux: ‘I know that I can make this an easy fight’

WBO Bantamweight World Champion John Riel Casimero will look to score a career-best victory and successfully defend his 118-pound title for the second time when he faces two-division champion Guillermo Rigondeaux this Saturday, August 14 live on SHOWTIME from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT as Casimero fights in the U.S. for the third time, this time headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event. Here is what the three-division world champion Casimero had to say about this Saturday’s showdown and more:

On his current training camp:

“This has been a fantastic training camp. I’ve really been focusing on my conditioning so that I can keep my strength for all 12 rounds. This has been the best training I’ve had in a while, because for this fight I had a set date and plenty of time. For my last fight, the date was changed because of the pandemic and that was difficult to work through. But this camp has been very smooth.”

On training alongside his mentor and promoter Manny Pacquiao:

“Manny is my idol in this sport. It’s great for me to be able to watch how he trains every day. He helps me with some aspects of boxing, but most important is the motivation I get from watching him work.

On fighting in front of Southern California’s Filipino population and returning to fight at Dignity Health Sports Park:

“I always want to go out and do my best for the fans. There are going to be a lot of Filipinos there and I want more than anything to give them a great fight to watch. This is the same place where I won the interim title in 2019, so it will be very special to me to go defend my world title and put on a great performance in that ring once again.”

On what style he expects Rigondeaux to bring into the ring:

“I know that I can make this an easy fight for myself. I want him to have some guts and be the exciting fighter he’s shown recently. It will be better for the fans and it will really prove who is the best.”

On what message he wants to send to the rest of the division with a win:

“I want to show that I’m strong and can beat any tough opponent. A win over Rigondeaux will solidify me as one of, if not the best, fighter in the bantamweight division. My goal is to take care of business on Saturday night, then go after the scared Nonito Donaire.”

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Rigondeaux on Casimero: ‘I’m going to tame him with great boxing skills’

Two-division world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux gave insight into his training camp as he prepares to take on WBO Bantamweight World Champion John Riel Casimero on Saturday, August 14 in the main event live on SHOWTIME from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will see Cuba’s two-time Olympic gold medalist Rigondeaux, who has earned pound-for-pound recognition at various points in his career, return to action against the Philippine’s Casimero, a three-division world champion looking for a career-best victory in his second 118-pound title defense.

Here is what Rigondeaux had to say about training camp with Ronnie Shields and more:

On his upcoming matchup with John Riel Casimero:

“It has been a very focused camp, and I have found inspiration watching the Olympics, and it has lit a spark in me. Winning two gold medals in my early years gives me added incentive to win this fight. I want to prove to the world that I am one of the best boxers ever, and that I have a lot left to give in this sport. I am confident that I am going to do that against the most avoided fighter in my weight class. Casimero is a dangerous fighter and a very powerful puncher, but I’m going to tame him with great boxing skills.”

On his recent training camp with coach Ronnie Shields:

“Training in Texas with Ronnie Shields has been great and our energy working together is fantastic. Ronnie has had a lot of world champions, and has a very professional boxing gym, with a lot of world champions and fighters who are competing at the highest level of the sport. I am motivated to work hard, not just to reach my own goals, but by all the young fighters in the gym who are driven and focused. The atmosphere has brought something new out of me. I’m revived and feeling young again.”

On fighting for WBO world title:

“It always feels good fighting for a world title, and I have had the WBO title before after I beat Nonito Donaire, but this time I’m going up against a hungry young lion. I am looking to capture another world title, and give another great fight that fans will talk about for years.”

On returning to the ring after a year-long layoff:

“I feel good. I think at this point in my career, all the time away from the ring helps. I know how to fight and I know how to train, the big thing is knowing how to recover, and not damage my body. I am doing a good job at staying sharp in the gym, but not over training. A win against Casimero will do wonders for my career.

Photo:  Hosanna Rull/iRull Fotos