Should boxing fans forget about a projected unification bout between Filipino world champions John Riel Casimero and Nonito Donaire Jr.?
At least, for now.
This is after both their respective world boxing bodies ordered mandatory defenses of their titles, plus the pronouncement by the Filipino challenger Raymart Gaballo that he is not ready to give way for what could be a historic clash between the two current Filipino titlists.
The World Boxing Council has recently ordered Donaire to defend his bantamweight crown against the interim champion and mandatory challenger Gaballo of Sanman Promotions based in Mindanao.
Two days later, the World Boxing Organization ordered Casimero to defend his title against no. 1 contender Paul Butler of Great Britain, giving the two camps 20 days to reach an agreement, otherwise, a purse bid of $100,000 shall take place.
Compounding the situation, it appears that Gaballo is not keen on giving up his rare chance for a title fight against Donaire.
“I really want to fight my idol Nonito Donaire, but it also depends on my boss and WBC. I am a fighter and what I want is to fight and win. That is my mindset,” Gaballo told JM Siasat of gmanetwork.com.
What’s the chance of Gaballo to pass up his rights to challenge Donaire?
“Usually, ang camp ng champion or ang promoter nag-ooffer sila ng set-aside fee sa mandatory challenger kung may gusto silang makalaban na iba. Pero siyempre for the right price ‘yan and other deals,” opined long-time boxing manager-promoter Brico Santig.
In this case, however, Casimero also has to contend with his own situation where he is mandated to fight Butler (33-2-0, 15 KOs) as per WBO order.
Casimero and Donaire were supposed to fight last August 14, but the latter backed out. Casimero instead fought Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux and won via split decision.
Donaire claimed that after Casimero’s win against Rigondeux, he sent a contract to Casimero. It was denied by the latter saying he has not received anything to sign on.
Casimero was also hoping to meet Naoya “The Monster” Inoue, who holds both the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association titles, after the Japanese star called him out on social media.
The waiting tack, however, backfired when the WBO and WBC ordered separate directions for Casimero and Donaire.