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Friday, June 21, 2024

Casimero faces Rigondeaux instead

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Johnriel “Cuadro Alas” Casimero will be fighting a different unification bout after international matchmaker Sean Gibbons formally confirmed the withdrawal of World Boxing Council world titleholder Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. 

Cuban reigning regular World Boxing Association bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux returns as Casimero’s opponent on August 14 in the bout promoted by the Premier Boxing Champions at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson City, California.

Gibbons accused the camp of Donaire, headed by his wife/manager Rachel of coming out with a “million excuses” not to fight the defending World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion Casimero (30-4 win-loss record with 21 knockouts).

The Donaires reasoned out the refusal of the camp of Casimero to undergo the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency drug testing, which Gibbons vehemently denied.           

“It’s the promoter of a fight who controls the testing,” Gibbons said, noting Casimero has already enrolled in the VADA program. “We’re in the WBC VADA program, which can test you 365/24/7. We got the VADA paperwork finally on Friday morning (June 25) and then it returned the next day before we enrolled on Saturday afternoon.”

Casimero’s team got the drug testing application from no less VADA President Margaret Goodman, who also confirmed that they completed everything within the June 27 deadline imposed by Rachel Donaire.

“It’s stupid that they’re trying to make it look like Casimero is running away from testing or is somehow afraid to be tested,” Gibbons said. “They’re saying we had the paperwork for five days, but that’s not what the email from Margaret Goodman says.”

Gibbons added Donaire and Rachel have no authority to demand any testing except the promoter of the fight and the commission.  

Donaire, for his part, claimed that her wife was disrespected in the social media by the camp of Casimero, forcing him to withdraw from the fight.

But with the all-Filipino world title unification already scrapped, Gibbons said Casimero’s life goes on.

He added the 32-year-old Ormoc City pride will be defending his crown against a better fighter than Donaire in Rigondeaux (20-1 record with 13 knockouts). The Cuban defeated Donaire via unanimous decision eight years ago in New York City.

Rigondeaux was a former 2000 Sidney and 2004 Athens Olympic gold medalist in the bantamweight division.


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