WORLD Boxing Organization bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero and MP Promotions chief Sean Gibbons yesterday continued to taunt Naoya Inoue, calling the Japanese fighter a “ turtle” for ducking a unification fight last April in Las Vegas.
“Nanggigil na ako sa kanya (Inoue),” Casimero, who successfully defended his crown with a convincing third-round knockout of African challenger Duke Micah in the US over the weekend, said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association online forum.
Casimero, the pride of Ormoc City who holds the World Boxing Association super bantamweight and International Boxing Federation bantamweight straps, said it is his dream to unify all the belts in his division.
“Gusto ko mapunta sa akin ‘yung apat na belt, unification talaga. ‘Yun talaga ang dream ko,” Casimero said in the public sports program backed by San Miguel Corp., PAGCOR, Milo, Go for Gold, Amelie Hotel, Brasca Restaurant and powered by Smart.
His main target is still Inoue, who opted out of a unification bout last April in Las Vegas.
Casimero said he was upset that some Pinoy fans are siding with Inouye and bashing him on social media.
“Pati ‘yung mga Pinoy, kakampi ni Inoue. Ipapakita ko sa inyo, mahal ko kayong lahat,” he said cheekily.
The Japanese fighter is set to stake his twin crowns on Oct. 31 against unheralded Austrian Jason Moloney at the MGM Grand Arena “bubble” in the famed US gambling capital.
Gibbons, who joined the online forum, took a dig at Bob Arum, his former boss, and the manager of the Japanese boxer, saying: “There’s the Japanese turtle wherever he’s hiding.
We haven’t seen this guy in seven months. Bob Arum has him under bed somewhere. He has to let Inoue out.”
Due to Casimero’s recent big win, Gibbons said the Pinoy world champion would not be wanting for offers from big-time promoters and fighters.
“Showtime boss Luis Espinoza and Premier Boxing Champions chief Al Haymon are excited to have Casimero back in the ring again. He has a lot of options. He is the world champion and we’re waiting for no one,” the veteran promoter said.
Casimero, nicknamed the “Cuadro Alas,” said he is giving Inoue one year to fight him before he would look for other alternatives.
Gibbons said Casimero has gained “main event” status following his big win last Sunday.
Striking while the iron is hot, Gibbons said he would rather see Casimero fighting next year against veteran Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, the regular WBA bantamweight kingpin, or WBC super bantamweight titlist Luis Nery Mexico.
“Nery would be a good foe for John Riel because both are explosive fighters,” he said, although it would mean Casimero yielding his 118-pound WBO strap to fight the Mexican in the 122-pound division.