UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – John Riel Casimero asked if he could take off his mask at the start of his post-fight press conference Saturday night.
The colorful Filipino fighter didn’t want to hide his face while he spoke. He couldn’t hide his disdain for Naoya Inoue, either.
The WBO bantamweight champion called out the unbeaten Japanese star he was supposed to fight April 25 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Casimero wants to fight Inoue next, assuming the heavily favored IBF/WBA bantamweight champ, who is nicknamed “Monster,” wins against Australian challenger Jason Moloney next month.
“Inoue, come on, man,” Casimero exclaimed. “You’re a monster, motherf--ker? You are no monster. You’re a Japanese turtle, not a monster, man. Inoue is scared of me. F--k, motherf--ker, come on! Next!”
The 31-year-old Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs), a three-division champion, stopped previously undefeated Duke Micah in the third round Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena. The hard-hitting Casimero dropped Micah (24-1, 19 KOs) in the second round and finished the Ghanaian challenger early in the following round of their scheduled 12-rounder for his WBO 118-pound crown.
Casimero expects the 27-year-old Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) to tear through Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) in similar fashion in a main event ESPN+ will stream October 31 from MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
“Jason Moloney [wanted a fight with] me,” Casimero said, “but I don’t fight with [Moloney] because I know that’s easy for me, because I want Inoue. But, you know, Inoue, he fight Jason Moloney because that’s easy, man.”
Casimero had hoped to have his fight against Inoue rescheduled after it was scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sean Gibbons, Casimero’s adviser, informed BoxingScene.com that it would’ve been difficult to put that bout back together from a financial standpoint until fans can attend in Las Vegas.
If even a limited number of fans could attend early in 2021, that could help generate the additional revenue required to reschedule an Inoue-Casimero clash. Gibbons made it clear, though, that he’ll pursue other fights for Casimero if Inoue isn’t interested in facing him in a bantamweight championship unification bout.
“The champ’s right here,” Gibbons said. “He’s always here. Inoue’s the one that ran away this time. They didn’t wanna fight whenever it was, the date we had coming up. They picked Moloney, an easy target. They could’ve took Casimero. They didn’t take it. So, Casimero’s here for [Guillermo] Rigondeaux, he’s here for [Luis] Nery, he’s here for Inoue, any of ‘em. You saw ‘The Monster.’ Casmiero’s ‘The Monster, The Real Monster.’ ”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.