Despite his "ugly win" over Cuban counterpuncher Guillermo Rigondeaux over the weekend, WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero may still get the fight he wanted against either Nonito Donaire Jr. or Naoya Inoue.
Casimero was able to hack out a split decision against Rigondeaux even after the Cuban challenger contented himself running around the ring for 12 rounds.
The Filipino gave chase and looked aggressive, but was only able to hurt the Cuban in the first round with a short right hand.
"I didn't expect it to be this disappointing," admitted fight analyst Nissi Icasiano.
"Casimero was aggressive, he was chasing Rigondeaux. The only problem he was always gunning for that knockout blow," he said.
However, a win is still a win and Icasiano thinks Casimero is still a solid choice for Donaire and Inoue.
"It doesn't change the fact that he defeated a master boxer like Guillermo Rigondeaux. The option to fight Donaire or Inoue is still an option late this year," the analyst said.
Veteran ring commentator Atty. Ed Tolentino, for his part, said Rigondeaux's style is far different from that of Donaire and Inoue. It is like comparing apples to oranges.
"We go back to the premise 'styles make fights.' You match Casimero against Donaire or Inoue, you'll have an action-packed fight," he said.
Tolentino added that while Rigondeaux's fighting style is not pleasing to the eye, it does make his opponents look bad.
"(Casimero's) reputation took a hit. People are saying 'yung aggression niya naging ineffective against Rigondeaux," he said.
Tolentino said it will be good for Casimero to take another fight soon to remove the bad taste left by the Rigondeaux fight.
He added that since Donaire and Inoue are apparently negotiating for for a rematch, it will be good for Casimero to look for other opponents.
"Mas magandang makalaban ulit agad siya and get back into the hitting groove para maagang mawala ang bad memory ng fight with Rigondeaux," said Tolentino.
"He wants Inoue, Donaire but the problem is these two are planning to fight again late this year... Pwedeng balikan niya si Donaire, Inoue pero maghihintay siya. Until then, he might want to fight again than play the waiting game."