Don't be surprised if Japanese boxing star Naoya Inoue chooses to fight against the winner of the Nonito Donaire Jr.-Nordine Oubaali WBC bantamweight title clash, instead of meeting already-in-waiting WBO champion John Riel Casimero.
Long-time boxing analyst Atty. Ed Tolentino said Inoue's promoter Bob Arum has been known to build up his fighters, especially Inoue, who is seen as the next biggest boxing star since Manny Pacquiao.
"I am a surprised why Bob Arum is having a difficult time putting the (Casimero) fight together considering that it was supposed to happen in April. The parties had actually agreed to fight as early as April, so there should be no problem making this fight," said Tolentino.
"All of a sudden, they do not seem to be that eager to pursue a fight with Casimero."
Inoue recently defended his WBA (Super), IBF, and Ring magazine bantamweight titles by knocking out Jason Moloney with a lethal right hand in the seventh round.
Arum initially said he might arrange a fight between Inoue and Casimero for the early part of 2021, but a deal has yet to be made.
"My guess is this -- Arum had just signed Inoue to a promotional contract so it is possible that he wants to showcase him first, make the most out of the deal before risking him against the dangerous Casimero," Tolentino said.
"It is more like Arum being 'sigurista.' He wants to play his cards right."
If Donaire gets past Oubaali and claims the WBC strap, he might get another chance to fight Inoue again.
Inoue figured in a difficult but entertaining bout with Donaire, winning via unanimous decision in 2019.
"Had Inoue demolished Donaire in their first match, he would have gone straight with the fight with Casimero. But Inoue struggled against Donaire and he did not want to get into a second straight tough fight against Casimero," said Tolentino.
Casimero looked impressive in his recent fight against Duke Micah, knocking out the erstwhile unbeaten Ghanaian in 3 rounds.