Boxing: Is Arum serious about giving John Riel a crack at champ Inoue?

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 18 2020 07:23 PM

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Boxing promoter Bob Arum appears to be playing mind games with John Riel Casimero in the Filipino world champion's quest to challenge Japanese champion Naoya Inoue, says one local analyst. 

Somehow it worked when Arum included Jerwin Ancajas, another Filipino champion, in the list of Inoue's potential foes.

The move piqued Casimero, prompting the reigning WBO bantamweight titlist to take a swipe at Ancajas.

"Casualty lang si Ancajas. Arum is just into word play. Arum is just trying to throw (Casimero) off his focus," said fight analyst Ed Tolentino.

Tolentino said Ancajas, the IBF junior bantamweight champion, challenging Inoue is not easily workable.

"Unang-una, Ancajas is not even a bantamweight. He fights at 115 pounds. Yes, he wants to move to bantamweight pero it would be foolish if he goes directly against Inoue," he said.

Tolentino, however, said he can't blame Casimero for being frustrated since he has been doggedly pursuing Inoue, the IBF, WBA and The Ring Magazine bantamweight championship for months now.

"Signed sealed and delivered na ang labang Casimero-Inoue noong April bago nagkaroon ng coronavirus. Ang nakakapagtaka lang noong iresume ang boxing sa US, inexpect ni Casimero na ihonor, iresume ang laban. But all of a sudden Inoue picked another opponent. All of a sudden nawala sa equation si Casimero."