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John Riel Casimero on the hunt for new opponent as Naoya Inoue fight seems unlikely

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBO bantamweight champion John Riel ‘Quadro Alas’ Casimero 29-4 (20) has opted to stay in the US rather than return home to the Philippines as he waits to secure a fight.

Casimero surprised many when he knocked out South African world champion Zolani Tete 28-4 (21) in three rounds in Birmingham, UK last November.

The 31-year-old has previously held world title belts at junior flyweight and flyweight but skipped over the super flyweight division entirely to campaign at 118-pounds.

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Casimero was in the frame to face WBA and IBF champion Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue 19-0 (16) in the US on April 25 before the global coronavirus pandemic hit.

“We need to get Casimero in top shape,” said international matchmaker and MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons to The Manila Times.

“If no Inoue fight in 2020, we need to make money. I am looking at a lot of options, but nothing [final] yet.”

Top Rank boss Bob Arum admitted to The Manila Times last week that the Inoue fight is unlikely to happen in the short-term as the Japanese phenom is struggling with visa problems.

The earliest possible date for the unification bout would September or October in Las Vegas, but only with a live gate of at least 2,000 people.

With the fight seemingly on the backburner, Gibbons is scouting other options that include American Rau’shee Warren 17-3 (4), Mexican Pedro Guevara 36-3-1 (21) and Australian Jason Moloney 21-1 (18).

“I’m looking at Mexican Pedro Guevara and others,” said Gibbons, who wants Casimero back in the ring no later than October.

Warren dropped a competitive 12-round decision to WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali of France in Las Vegas in January last year before rebounding with a unanimous decision win over journeyman Gilberto Mendoza in Nashville five months ago.

Former WBC 108-pound champion Guevara has fought everywhere from junior flyweight to super bantamweight over the past three years.

Moloney would make the most attractive option following his dominant seventh-round knockout win over Leonardo Baez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on a Top Rank-promoted show on June 25.

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