(UPDATED) Defending WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero reiterated that he will be the last fighter Guillermo Rigondeaux will have to face as he vowed to send the Cuban champion into retirement.
“I’ve stopped my last six opponents and Rigondeaux is next. He’s finito. If I finish Rigondeaux, then maybe (Nonito) Donaire or (Naoya) Inoue will be next," the outspoken Filipino boxing said during the final presser ahead of this weekend's fight.
The two will collide this Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Casimero relishes the chance to trade with the "brave" Cuban counterpuncher.
“This fight is very important to me because I know my next opponent may be Nonito Donaire or Naoya Inoue. Those two opponents may be scared of me but Rigondeaux is not scared. But don’t worry Rigondeaux, this will be your last fight on August 14," he said.
“I have a surprise for Rigondeaux on Saturday night. He will maybe last three rounds. Don’t run!”
The 40-year-old Rigondeaux, for his part, is out to prove he's still years away from retirement.
“All these jokers always talk a lot about making me retire, but they have to do it in the ring. Let’s see what you do on Saturday. I’m still right here," he said.
“He’s knocked out six guys in a row, but none of them are in the same class as me. He’s going to have the devil in front of him on Saturday."
Rigondeaux noted that he already beat two Filipino boxers, including Donaire, and he plans to make Casimero his third Filipino victim.
“Casimero is going to be the third Filipino that I’m going to take down. Everyone is going to see what I’m about on Saturday. I don’t have to tell anyone what’s going to happen now, you’re going to see it all in the ring," he said.
Casimero admitted he expects Rigondeaux to use his speed, noting that the Cuban looked smaller than he expected.
"Hindi pala masyadong malaki, maliit lang pala. Kaya pala mabilis, kasi maliit. 'Yung katawan niya maliksi," he said in an interview with ABS-CBN's Steve Angeles.
He also asked for prayers from his Filipino supporters when he clashes with the Cuban legend.
"Suportahan n'yo ako sa darating na laban... Sa lahat ng mga kababayan ko, pamilya ko, Ormoc City, ipagdasal nyo ako sa laban na ito," he said.
Also fighting in the undercard is former junior bantamweight contender, Filipino boxer Jonas "Zorro" Sultan.
Sultan will take on American Sharone Carter, who came in as a late replacement after the Pinoy's original opponent Jose Maria Cardenas failed to fly to the US due to strict protocols in Mexico.