WBO bantamweight titleholder John Riel Casimero 29-4 (20) will need to accept a pay cut if he wants to face WBA and IBF champion Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue 19-0 (16) in a mouth-watering unification bout later this year.
The pair were scheduled to meet in the US on April 25 before the global coronavirus pandemic put the kybosh on the fight.
“We talked to Casimero about a purse when the good times were rolling, and when Japanese high rollers were going to come in and watch the fight, and we could get enough money from the hotel casino to allow us to do it – that’s gone now,” Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told ESPN.
“We have to talk to Casimero, is he willing to take a reduction like Inoue is? If the answer is no, then we can put Jason Moloney in with Inoue, which may be an even better fight.”
Australian Moloney 21-1 (18) impressed in his Las Vegas debut last month when he dominated Leonardo Baez, stopping the Mexican in seven rounds.
Top Rank remains confident they can get Japan’s Inoue, 27, into the US.
“Inoue has an appointment next week at the US embassy in Tokyo, it is an interview process,” Arum said.
“He’s gotten his visa approved but he has to do a final interview. Once he gets his visa, we’re going to bring him over here and get him going, probably in September.”
Filipino Casimero, 31, has remained in Las Vegas since March and has continued to stay in shape as he awaits news of his next assignment.
“We’re just waiting for Inoue to get here first, before we make any decisions on reductions, or anything happening,” Sean Gibbons of MP Promotions told ESPN.
“The guy’s not even in the country, we’ve been waiting four months for him to arrive. So let’s see the guy physically in the country, and then we’ll make some decisions on which way to go.
“Last I checked [Arum] was waiting for minimal amount of fans, similar to the [Teofimo] Lopez-[Vasiliy] Lomachenko fight. That’s where he left it, so let’s see the ‘Monster’ get in the country and some decisions will be made quickly.”