MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino boxing champion Johnriel Casimero was delighted for Nonito Donaire, after "The Filipino Flash" became a world champion again.
Donaire, at 38 years old, became the oldest fighter to win a bantamweight belt when he stopped France's Nordine Oubaali on Saturday in Carson, California (Sunday in Manila). Ten years since he first won a title at the 118-pound division, Donaire became the WBC bantamweight champion.
Casimero, who owns the WBO bantamweight belt, was quick to congratulate his compatriot.
"Congrats, Filipino Flash," Casimero said on Twitter. "Sakalam (Malakas) pa din."
But Casimero also acknowledged that both he and Donaire now have the same target: Japan's Naoya Inoue, who holds the IBF and WBA belts in the 118-pound class.
"Ako na muna bahala sa chaca," said Casimero, ostensibly in reference to Inoue. "Mag-enjoy ka muna."
Casimero has long desired a fight against Inoue, going so far as to say that he is "monster hunting" in a nod to the Japanese boxer's moniker.
Donaire, for his part, is aiming for a rematch against the Japanese champion. In November 2019, he and Inoue engaged in a brutal war in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series, with Inoue emerging as winner via decision.
He has made it clear that he wants another shot at Inoue in his quest to unify all the belts in the division -- a goal that puts him at odds with Casimero.
Interestingly, another Filipino boxer -- Michael Dasmarinas -- will be the first to get a shot at Inoue. He challenges the Japanese fighter in August for his bantamweight titles.