It looks like the ploy of WBO champion John Riel Casimero is working.
His recent remarks against Naoya Inoue got the Japanese star's attention and Inoue has sought to have a match arranged.
Even before Casimero hacked out a split decision win against Cuba's Guillermo Rigondeaux, the outspoken champion of Ormoc City has been eyeing several possible opponents, including Inoue.
“This is my plan. Three people. First, Rigondeaux finished. Second, Donaire. And next, Inoue,” said Casimero on live broadcast while reserving the middle finger for the Japanese.
Inoue posted a message on Twitter in reaction to Casimero's antics.
"Is everyone's image of Naoya Inoue a saint, a prince?" he said in a Twitter post translated to English.
"Why do I have to keep silent after being provoked radically and was pointed out in the live broadcast? There are people who say various things, but this is an individual remark with Casimero... Please organize a match."
Inoue, the IBF, WBA and The Ring bantamweight king, has one condition for accepting the fight: that Casimero will undergo strict anti-doping testing heading into the bout.
"I hope this year," he said.
Casimero was chasing Inoue for quite sometime now.
They were supposed to duke it out back in April 2020, but the bout was scrapped due to the pandemic.
Casimero flew to Las Vegas that year with hopes of setting a title unification bout with Inoue, but the Japanese opted to take on a different foe.
This prompted the Filipino to up the ante in trash talking, calling Inoue a "turtle".
“He always hides under his shell; he said I can’t hit him. That’s because he is afraid to get out of his shell,” Casimero said.