Casimero being stripped of world title highly possible, says analyst

John Riel Casimero of the Philippines reacts as he fights against Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba during their 12 round WBO Bantamweight World Championship fight at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, USA, 14 August 2021. File phoo. Etienne Laurent, EPA-EFE.

John Riel Casimero of the Philippines reacts as he fights against Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba during their 12 round WBO Bantamweight World Championship fight at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, USA, 14 August 2021. File phoo. Etienne Laurent, EPA-EFE.
John Riel Casimero of the Philippines reacts as he fights against Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba during their 12 round WBO Bantamweight World Championship fight at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, USA, 14 August 2021. File phoo. Etienne Laurent, EPA-EFE.

There’s a big possibility that John Riel Casimero might part ways with his WBO bantamweight crown given the situation regarding his title defense against English fighter Paul Butler.

And Casimero’s lack of focus has a lot to do with it, according to boxing analyst Atty. Ed Tolentino.

“Ang daming oportunidad na nawala kay Joh Riel Casimero,” said Tolentino. “Ang opinyon ko, mag-focus muna sa boxing.”

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBoC), the sport’s official sanctioning body in the UK, has refused to approve Casimero’s clash with Butler in Liverpool this weekend after obtaining evidence of unapproved weight cutting method through the use of sauna.

“Meron silang medical guidelines. ’Pag ilang araw na lang ang laban, hindi pwedeng mag-sauna ang isang boksingero para magbawas ng timbang,” Tolentino said.

The BBoC was alarmed that Casimero cut 10 pounds off his weight in just three days. Adding to the evidence was the YouTube video posted by his camp showing him shadow-boxing inside a sauna.

“Itong issue sa sauna hindi na dapat nangyari kung mayroon siyang maayos na adviser na nagsabi sa kanya na ayon sa BBoC bawal ’yan. Pangalawa, siya rin ang nag-share sa social media. You might as well cut back on social media ang focus on boxing,” Tolentino said.

With his fight scuttled, the WBO has decided to set up an interim title bout between Butler and late replacement, WBO intercontinental bantamweight champion Jonas Sultan.

Tolentino believes the WBO will likely strip Casimero of the title, since it has already set conditions when Casimero failed to make the weigh-in for the Butler fight that was supposed to take place last December.

“Kung susundin literally ang sinabi ng WBO sa kanilang December resolution, mukhang doon patungo ang kapalaran ni Casimero na siya’y matatanggalan ng korona. Sapagkat sinabi ng WBO kapag ikaw ay di pa rin sumipot sa weigh-in for whatever reason, you will be stripped of the title ipso facto, ibig sabihin automatic,” he said.

“You apply the current situation, can you show up in the weigh-in? No, because the BBoC has refused to sanction him in England … This may be the final straw that will provoke the WBO to strip Casimero the title.”

The WBO, however, allowed Casimero to explain until Friday why he should retain the title.

“Bakit pinage-explain? The way I see it, this explanation will decide whether or not Casimero will be ranked No. 1, despite being stripped of the title. ’Pag di meritorious ang explanation maaaring tanggalan ng korona at hindi maaaring i-reinstate kaagad as the No. 1 contender,” Tolentino added.

Losing the crown will be painful for Casimero, since he has already lost several opportunities or a major payday since wresting the title from Zolane Tete in 2019.

“If you look at his situation, in three years ang daming big fights niyang nawala. The Naoya Inoue fight nawala because of COVID. The Nonito Donaire unification fight ganu’n din hindi natuloy kasi may bangayan,” said the analyst.

“Nang dahil lang sa isang YouTube video nadisgrasya ang kanyang title shot. Ang guaranteed payday nawala. He really has to reassess. Ang ganda na ang momentum niya nu’ng tinalo niya si Zolane Tete. And when you don’t show up in the weigh-in, papangit ang reputation mo, ang mga promoter hindi ka na i-promote.”

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