John Riel Casimero implored Guillermo Rigondeaux to “fight” him August 14.
The trash-talking Filipino ripped Rigondeaux for running in previous fights during a virtual press conference Wednesday to promote their bantamweight championship match next month. Casimero commended the Cuban southpaw for again taking the fight from which Nonito Donaire withdrew, but he also joked that Rigondeaux’s fights tend to put people other than his opponents to sleep.
“Rigondeaux, fight me,” Casimero said. “Don’t run. I want a fight. You know, because Rigondeaux runs. People who are watching are sleeping. All of the fights of Rigondeaux are no good. Always run, run, and all the fans are asleep. They’re tired of watching. This fight August 14th, maybe no run. You box, always you run.”
A stone-faced Rigondeaux didn’t respond to Casimero belittling him as a boring boxer.
“It’s simple and plain,” Rigondeaux stated through a translator. “You do your job, I’ll do my thing. You do you, I’ll do me, and then we’ll see each other in the ring.”
Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) will defend his WBO 118-pound championship against Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC) in a “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event at Dignity Health Sports Park. The Cuban-born Rigondeaux holds the WBA’s secondary “world” bantamweight title, though Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs) is the WBA’s legitimate champion in their division.
Casimero-Rigondeaux initially was announced late in April as part of Showtime’s four-month slate of fights. In mid-June, however, Donaire replaced Rigondeaux as Casimero’s opponent.
Rigondeaux stepped aside because he believed he would get a shot at the Casimero-Donaire winner. The 40-year-old southpaw was expected to fight on the Casimero-Donaire undercard against an undetermined opponent, but Donaire withdrew from the Casimero match soon after it was finalized due to Donaire’s skepticism regarding Casimero’s enrollment in the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association’s performance-enhancing drug testing program.
Las Vegas’ Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) also cited mistreatment of his wife/manager, Rachel, by Sean Gibbons, the president of Manny Pacquiao Promotions, on social media as another reason for withdrawing from their fight. Rachel Donaire and Gibbons exchanged Tweets related to Casimero’s enrollment in VADA before Nonito Donaire pulled out of that title unification fight with Casimero.
The 38-year-old Donaire regained the WBC bantamweight title he held 10 years earlier by knocking out previously undefeated Frenchman Nordine Oubaali (17-1, 12 KOs) in the fourth round May 29 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.