Nonito Donaire isn’t merely viewing John Riel Casimero as his chance to unfiy, but rather a next step on the road to bantamweight supremacy.
As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, the WBC/WBO bantamweight title between the pair of hard-hitting Filipinos is officially set for August 14. Donaire (41-6, 27KOs) takes the place of former lineal junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, who was pulled from the fight simply for the sake of presenting a more appealing and significant matchup with Casimero, who attempts the second defense of his WBO bantamweight title.
The 38-year-old Donaire enjoys a quick turnaround on the heels of his fourth-round knockout of unbeaten Nordine Oubaali on May 29 to begin his third bantamweight title reign. True to his word of seeking unification bouts for his next two fights, the legendary Fil-Am superstar is granted his wish against the dangerous punching Casimero (30-4, 21KOs)
“He’s a powerful guy. I like power,” Donaire told ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna while on hand for former rival Naoya Inoue’s third-round knockout of Michael Dasmarinas at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. “I like to make things exciting.
“It’s going to be a heck of a fight.”
Donaire is normally involved in such affairs, no greater example than his November 2019 war with Inoue, in which he dropped a clear but hard-fought unanimous decision in Saitama, Japan. The bout ended Donaire’s WBA bantamweight title reign, with Inoue adding the belt to a collection that already included the IBF title he snatched one fight prior in a second-round knockout of unbeaten Emmanuel Rodriguez.
Ever since their Fight of the Year-level war, Donaire has wanted nothing more than a second crack at Inoue. Winning the WBC belt was the step in the right direction he sought and of the belief that a title-unifying win over Casimero can only lead to a rematch with Inoue for the undisputed bantamweight championship.
“Some people call me crazy about things but I love that fight and I want to do it again,” insists Donaire. “It drives me and motivates and inspires me. It gets me up early and makes me enjoy being in the gym.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox