Nonito Donaire didn’t simply accept John Riel Casimero’s apology.
He helped his fellow Filipino make a decision regarding his next fight. According to a report published recently by an outlet in the Philippines, Donaire encouraged his promoter, Richard Schaefer, to work with Casimero for his mandated WBO bantamweight title defense against Paul Butler.
Schaefer is the president of Probellum, the ambitious promotional company that represents a growing stable of fighters, including Donaire.
ABS-CBN News reported that Jason Casimero, John Riel’s brother and trainer, confirmed that his brother has signed a contract with Probellum. Jason Casimero declined to discuss Casimero’s status with Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions, according to ABS-CBN News.
Rachel Donaire, Nonito’s wife and manager, clarified for BoxingScene.com that Casimero signed a contract for the Butler bout, not for a promotional deal with Probellum, as the initial version of this story indicated.
Donaire indicated in a video interview posted to his Facebook channel, Beyond the Ring, that he and Casimero (31-4, 21 KOs) could be showcased in separate bouts on a Probellum card December 11.
Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) is supposed to make a mandated defense of his WBC bantamweight title against another Filipino fighter, Reymart Gaballo (24-0, 20 KOs), in his next bout.
Probellum won a purse bid last week with an offer of $105,000, slightly above the minimum allowance of $100,000, to earn the right to promote Casimero’s mandatory title defense against England’s Butler (33-2, 15 KOs). Butler also signed with Probellum this week.
Potentially boxing on the same card, under the same promotional banner, would be a dramatic turn of events for Donaire and Casimero. They were supposed to meet in a bantamweight championship unification fight August 14, but Donaire withdrew from their “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event because Casimero wasn’t enrolled to Donaire’s satisfaction in the WBC’s “Clean Boxing Program.”
The 38-year-old Donaire also took exception to how Sean Gibbons, the president of MP Promotions, interacted with his wife/manager, Rachel Donaire, on social media when the Donaires questioned Casimero’s commitment to the WBC program administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. Casimero later apologized for what Donaire considered disrespect toward his wife.
Casimero instead out-pointed Guillermo Rigondeaux by split decision in Showtime’s mundane main event August 14 from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Cuba’s Rigondeaux (20-2, 13 KOs, 1 NC) was Casimero’s original opponent, but Donaire temporarily replaced him after he demolished previously undefeated French southpaw Nordine Oubaali (17-1, 12 KOs) by fourth-round knockout to regain the WBC bantamweight championship May 29 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.