Home Boxing News John Riel Casimero wants Guillermo Rigondeaux to stand and trade to make...

John Riel Casimero wants Guillermo Rigondeaux to stand and trade to make a better fight for the fans

Triple world champion John Riel Casimero. Photo credit: Sumio Yamada

WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero 30-4 (21) has dared Guillermo Rigondeaux 20-1 (13) to stand and trade with him when they meet at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California this Saturday night.

The 32-year-old Filipino was set to face WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire 41-6 (27) but Donaire withdrew from the fight citing concerns about drug testing protocols and what he saw as disrespect towards his wife, trainer and manager Rachel Donaire.

Casimero still wants to fight his countryman Donaire but first he must get past crafty 40-year-old Cuban southpaw Rigondeaux.

“I know that I can make this an easy fight for myself,” Casimero said. “I want him to have some guts and be the exciting fighter he’s shown recently. It will be better for the fans and it will really prove who is the best.

“I want to show that I’m strong and can beat any tough opponent. A win over Rigondeaux will solidify me as one of, if not the best, fighter in the bantamweight division. My goal is to take care of business on Saturday night, then go after the scared Nonito Donaire.”

Casimero, who won the WBO 118-pound belt with a stunning third-round knockout of Zolani Tete two years ago in the UK, has been training for this fight alongside his mentor and promoter Manny Pacquiao.

“Manny is my idol in this sport,” said Casimero, who previously held the IBF title at both junior flyweight and flyweight. “It’s great for me to be able to watch how he trains every day. He helps me with some aspects of boxing, but most important is the motivation I get from watching him work.

“This has been a fantastic training camp. I’ve really been focusing on my conditioning so that I can keep my strength for all 12 rounds. This has been the best training I’ve had in a while because for this fight I had a set date and plenty of time.

“For my last fight, the date was changed because of the pandemic and that was difficult to work through. But this camp has been very smooth.”

Casimero is looking forward to returning to Dignity Health Sports Park where he made his US debut in April 2019 with a 12th round knockout of Ricardo Espinoza Franco on the undercard of Danny Garcia vs Adrian Granados.

“I always want to go out and do my best for the fans,” Casimero said. “There are going to be a lot of Filipinos there and I want more than anything to give them a great fight to watch.

“This is the same place where I won the interim title in 2019, so it will be very special to me to go defend my world title and put on a great performance in that ring once again.”