GAB advises John Riel Casimero: Get a tune-up fight first

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 15 2022 05:05 AM

John Riel Casimero in action against Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba on August 14, 2021. Etienne Laurent, Shutterstock Out/EPA-EFE/file
John Riel Casimero in action against Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba on August 14, 2021. Etienne Laurent, Shutterstock Out/EPA-EFE/file

Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chair Abraham "Baham" Mitra encouraged former world champion John Riel Casimero to go through a tune-up fight first before seeking a world title shot against either the UK's Paul Butler or Japan's Naoya Inoue.

This is to keep Casimero active after missing two fight dates due to weight issues.

Mitra said that this, too, will build confidence in promoters to invest in Casimero.

"Alam naman nating dalawang beses siyang hindi nakasampa sa ring ... Kung ako ang promoter, mag-iingat na rin ako. Siyempre gagastusan mo siya, ipo-promote mo Inoue vs. Casimero tapos hindi na naman matutuloy," he said on the “Sports on Air” program.  

Casimero was supposed to fight Butler in December 2021, but failed to make the weigh-ins after suffering gastritis. He again failed to show up in the weigh-ins for the Butler fight four months later after violating a medical policy by the British Boxing Board of Control for using a sauna to trim weight before their title fight.

This prompted the WBO to strip Casimero of his world bantamweight title.

Butler went on to fight another Filipino boxer in Jonas Sultan and win the WBO crown.

"Doon sa laban ni Butler at ni Jonas Sultan, walang masyadong tao. 'Yung MEN stadium wala pang kalahati ang lamang tao, kasi everybody was expecting a Casimero-Butler fight tapos last minute pinalitan. Baka nakuryente at natatakot na ang promoter kay Casimero," said Mitra.

Just recently, Casimero reached out to WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel via social media, requesting that he be appointed as the mandatory challenger against Butler.

Casimero is hoping to beat Butler to get the chance to challenge Inoue, the unified WBA, WBC and IBF bantamweight king.

"We will recommend to him to formally write the WBO and we will endorse that letter para mabigyan siya ng chance na marecover ang nawalang belt," said Mitra.

"Kung saan ka man John Riel Casimero nandito lang kami, gusto ka naming makausap. Walang problema, we will endorse his application for another title fight."