Everything is now set for the 12-round world title tiff between Filipino WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero and crafty Cuban opponent Guillermo Rigondeaux.
The fight will serve as the main event of “Showtime Championship Boxing” at Dignity Health Sports Complex, Carson City, Calif., on Sunday morning (Manila time).
Both fighters looked fit and trim during the weigh-ins with Casimero, the 3-division champion, hitting the scales at 118 pounds.
Rigondeaux, who will turn 41 next month, came in at 117.5 pounds.
Casimero said this second defense of his WBO crown is his key to bigger fights.
“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," he said in the final presser heading to the bout.
"But don’t worry, Rigondeaux, this will be your last fight on August 14."
Rigondeaux, a 2-time Olympic gold medalist, is known for his cunning counterpunching style. But Casimero said he is out to avert that with a knockout victory.
“I know how to manage my game plan against Rigondeaux but I’ll leave it as a surprise for him. Let’s see what happens Saturday," he said.
Rigondeaux said he will prove Casimero wrong.
Although he has fewer pro fights (20-1) than Casimero (30-4), he has fought with some of the best in the business, including Donaire. His lone defeat was when he climbed to the junior lightweight division to challenge the bigger Vasyl Lomachenko.
“I’m tired to hear from all these jokers, they always say the same thing that I'm going to retire," said the Cuban.
"Everybody knows my story, the story of my career. You think I'm going to make an exception for this clown. Who has he fought with?"
Rigondeaux told Casimero he is not going to run around.
"I'm here. You will have the devil in front of you on Saturday," he said.
In the undercard, Jonas Sultan will square off against American Sharone Carter in an 8-rounder.
The last time Sultan was in the ring was in August 2019 when he stopped Salatiel Amit in 7 rounds in Ormoc City.
Sultan is a one-time world-title challenger, having taken on Jerwin Ancajas for the International Boxing Federation super-flyweight belt and losing.