World Boxing Council bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. came to the defense of fellow Filipino titlist John Riel Casimero, convinced that he should not be stripped of the title by the World Boxing Organization.
“They’re still reviewing (whether to strip him or not). I feel bad for the guy (Casimero) because he made the weight. He got it out there and he wasn’t given the rules and regulations to know about the sauna and stuff like that,” said Donaire.
Casimero was not allowed to defend his title last week against British boxer Paul Butler by the British Boxing Board of Control when he used a sauna—an alleged violation of its rules.
“It’s crazy because everybody uses the sauna,” said Donaire in a recent Youtube interview.
Donaire, who had a previous spat with Casimero, said the use of a sauna is not generally illegal.
“Everybody (uses it). I use the sauna all day, I have a sauna on my travel. I have a sauna in the house where I sit in. It’s a necessity because we train really hard, we wanna train there without trying really hard. And we got that same results without breaking our muscles,” Donaire said.
Barely a week after the World Boxing Organization issued a show-cause order to explain why Casimero should not be stripped of his world title, the Filipino pug remains the champion of the organization’s bantamweight division.
Based on the latest rankings on the WBO website, Casimero is still listed as the champion with Great Britain’s Butler as the no. 1 contender.
There has been no movement yet even as Butler emerged winner in the fight for the interim bantamweight crown against another Filipino in Jonas Sultan—Casimero’s replacement—on April 21 at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.
Donaire added that it was a blessing in disguise for Casimero.
“Napaganda pa nga ang nangyari kasi mas makakapaghanda pa nang husto si Tata (Casimero) kay Butler,” he said.
Sultan was reportedly training in England when he was picked as a replacement for Casimero, who was denied permission by the British Boxing Board of Control for the alleged violation of its medical guidelines.
The BboC used as strong evidence the video posted by Casimero on his Youtube Channel where he was shown using a sauna suit during his training, days before his scheduled bout against Butler. The BboC prohibits the use of a sauna to reduce weight.
Casimero, however, said that he was not informed of the “sauna” rule, the use of which is legal in many boxing countries.
He said the move to ease him out of the championship title was already planned beforehand.