MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons is pushing for an August date for the rescheduled clash between World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion John Riel Casimiro and Japanese World Boxing Association super bantamweight and International Boxing Federation bantamweight titlist Naoya Inoue.
“We are hoping to get it done in August. That is a realistic date that hopefully will work,” Gibbons, who handles Casimero, told maxboxing.com writer Bill Tibbs in a story posted on its website the other day.
The two sluggers were supposed to face each other last April 27 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas but the unification bout was scrapped due to the global novel corona virus pandemic.
Casimero remains training in the US gambling capital while Inoue is back home in his native Japan.
Nicknamed “The Destroyer, the unbeaten Inoue, 27, who boasts a record of 19 wins with 16 knockouts, took both his titles with a convincing unanimous decision win over Filipino veteran Nonito “The Flash” Donaire last Nov. 11, 2019 in Saitama, Japan.
The colorful Casimero, 31, who has a record of 29 wins (24 KOs) against four losses, wrested the WBO belt from Zolani Tete with a third-round stoppage of the South African on Nov. 30, 2019 in Birmingham, England.
Inoue is considered one of pro boxing’s rising stars and is tipped by oddsmakers as the favorite to beat Casimero, who has been living with Gibbons in Las Vegas.
But Gibbons took exception to that popular notion, saying: “Not so fast. He (Casimero) understands that Inoue might look like the favorite. He is going to surprise a few people.
“We are very aware of what we are up against here with Inoue. The guy is a big puncher and when you are in with a banger you always have to be aware of that bomb coming.”
The American promoter cited the Filipino prizefighter’s big wins “on the road. Thailand, China, Mexico, England, the US, it doesn’t matter. Set up the ring and Viva Casimero is coming to do what he does and that is win fights.”
Asked if the Ormoc, Leyte pride was frustrated by the delay, Gibbons said: “He (Casimero) is training every day. The guy can’t wait to get in the ring with this guy and win a fight that most people think he won’t.
“He loves to train and is in fantastic shape. He has a lot of stoppages late in the fights and that is because he never stops. He is very mentally tough.”
While Gibbons respects the unbeaten Japanese, he was quick to point out that Inoue “is also someone who gets hit. And guess what? In Casimero who will be bringing the heat from one until the last second of the fight…my guy is a monster hunger.
“When they get in the ring, monster hunting is officially open baby.”