The anticipated all-Filipino bantamweight title unification between John Riel Casimero and Nonito Donaire Jr. will have to wait, so it seems.
This after the World Boxing Organization (WBO) ordered Casimero to defend his crown against mandatory challenger Paul Butler of England, according to a report by Boxing Scene.
“The WBO World Championship Committee hereby orders the parties herein commencement of negotiations for the above-mentioned WBO Bantamweight Mandatory Championship Contest,” Luis Batista-Salas, chairman of the WBO Championship Committee told the promoters for both parties in an official letter.
“Please be advised that the parties have twenty (20) days upon receipt of this letter to reach an agreement."
Butler (33-2, 15KOs) was the former IBF bantamweight champion. He vacated the crown to vie for the IBF junior bantamweight title but lost to Zolane Tete.
Butler recently claimed a 10-round decision over Willibaldo Garcia last June and positioned himself as the No. 1 contender to Casimero’s crown.
Prior the WBO's order, the WBC also instructed Donaire to take on mandatory challenger and interim champion Reymart Gaballo.
After a series of verbal confrontations online, Casimero and Donaire have recently mended fences with hopes of arranging a title unification.
But the WBO's order will obviously affect their plans.
John Riel Casimero, Nonito Donaire Jr., Boxing, Paul Butler, WBO bantamweight title