The World Boxing Organization formally stripped Filipino John Riel Casimero of the bantamweight world title, but he remains within striking distance of the crown after he was recommended to be put as the no. 1 contender in the division.“
The Committee unanimously recommended to the WBO Executive Committee to strip John Riel Casimero’s WBO World Bantamweight Championship Title for failure to comply with the conditions set forth in its ‘Resolution’ stated on the WBO Championship Committee resolution,” said in part by the WBO’s eight-page statement.
“The WBO Executive Committee unanimously voted in favor of adopting the WBO Championship Committee’s recommendation and therefore declares the WBO Bantamweight Championship Title ‘vacant’ and ‘The WBO Interim Bantamweight Champion Paul Butler is elevated from Interim Champion to ‘Full Champion Status’.”
The Championship Committee, headed by Luis Batista Salas, still recognizes Casimero as a force to contend with as it recommended the Filipino to hold the no. 1 contender spot.
Casimero failed to defend his title on April 21 at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England against Butler after the British Boxing Board of Control disqualified him for using a sauna suit in training—an alleged violation of its rules—a few days before fight night.
He was replaced by fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan, who eventually lost to Butler in a unanimous decision.
It was the second time that Casimero failed to defend his title against Butler. The first time was in December 2021 in Dubai, where he had to pull out on the eve of the official weigh-in allegedly due to viral gastritis.
In the England fight, the 33-year-old Leyte native was given a “show-cause” order three days before fight night by the WBO after he was prevented by the BboC for the alleged violation of its rules.
After a thorough investigation, the WBO championship committee came out with an eight-page resolution, stating facts and handing the decision, which can be appealed to the WBO Complaint and Grievance Committee.“Appeals must be submitted in writing to the WBO President within 14 days of this decision as to its sole and exclusive remedy,” added the WBO statement.
Casimero, who reigned as WBO bantamweight title from 2019 to 2021, though, can still regain the title being the no. 1 contender.
Since taking it from Zolani Tete in 2019, he defended it twice against Duke Micah and Guillermo Rigondeaux.