MANILA, Philippines – Finesse fighter Nonito Donaire and murderer John Riel Casimero collide in a world championship match that marks important milestones for Filipino boxing.
Along with having the unifying world bantamweight title on the line, the bout, scheduled for Aug. 14, ultimately shattered long-held belief against Filipino opposition to the title fights.
While not the first, the Donaire-Casimero bout is by far the biggest all-Filipino clash of all time due to the fighters’ global relevance: two highly explosive fighters currently holding the WBC and WBO belts.
Donaire, a four-division champion eager to end his career in a burst of glory, confirmed the fight on his social media accounts.
Invite 4m @KnuckleheadSean “Nonito Donaire, you want some, it’s here for you.” Tap Yes on the invitation. Rachel and Richard did magic. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, August 14 switcheroo.
Ty to Richard, Rachel, PBC, TGB and Showtime.
Photo by Hector De La Cruz pic.twitter.com/91mNP53Pd1
– Nonito Donaire (@filipinoflash) June 19, 2021
The announcement only came hours before another bantamweight champion of Japan, Naoya Inoue, took on Filipino Michael Dasmarinas in Las Vegas. Inoue demolished Dasmariñas in just three rounds to keep his WBA (Super) and IBF belts.
Casimero has been very vocal in challenging Inoue since their fight was repeatedly called off. Donaire, on the other hand, broke Inoue’s orbit and exposed his exaggeration before losing by decision in late 2019.
At 38, Donaire is hoping to end a career that was once thought to rival that of Manny Pacquiao. Until he struggled in the heavier classes over the years.
He has since returned to 118 pounds, regaining stature – and the distinction of becoming the oldest Bantam champion – after snatching the WBC belt from once undefeated Nordine Oubaali in May.
It could also take advantage of the location, the Dignity Health Center in Carson, Calif., Which has a large Fil-American population.
Likewise, it places the country at the level of the big boxing countries like Mexico and the United States whose boxers meet regularly.
The fight was made possible, according to reports, after elegant Cuban fighter Guillermo Rigondeaux agreed to step down as Casimero’s opponent.
With his very defensive method of fighting, Rigondeaux broke Donaire’s winning streak that made him Fighter of the Year in 2012.
It would take place exactly one week before Manny Pacquiao faces Errol Spence for the welterweight championship in Las Vegas.
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