A merger of 2 boxing champions: Casimero hooks up with startup Japanese promoter
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Two former world champions Masayuki Ito and John Riel Casimero forged a partnership in boxing aiming to reassert the latter’s stature as a world champion.
Ito formally announced his venture into the promotional side of boxing by introducing his first boxer, no other than Casimero.
Ito and his team from the Tokyo-based Treasure Boxing Promotions are in Cebu to announce to the media their grand plans for Casimero and other aspiring boxers.
They also visited the Villamor Boxing Gym and Omega Boxing Gym in Mandaue City to discover potential boxers they can add to their startup promotions.
One of their goals is to line up big fights for Casimero fast track his ascension back to world boxing supremacy.
Fight vs Inoue
Ultimately, they plan to land a fight against Japanese boxing superstar and undisputed former bantamweight world champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue.
“Casimero is very well-known in Japan. If he fights, we already know that it’s going to be an exciting fight. We have something big for him,” said Ito via a translator.
“We want to provide Casimero relevant and big fights to fast-track him to become a world champion again. We think that is also the best way to challenge Inoue against Casimero. We are planning to promote Casimero’s fight this year in May or June. We have to choose first where the fight will happen if it’s in Japan or in the Philippines.”
Inoue recently announced his plans to move into the super bantamweight division after unifying the WBA, IBF, Ring Magazine, WBO, and WBC bantamweight world titles.
With that in mind, Casimero also announced that he’s moving to the super bantamweight division.
It’s best remembered that Inoue and Casimero clapped back at each other on social media which hyped their supposed mega fight which was never realized.
“We want to start from the bottom first for Casimero. He needs to win fights and slowly climb back into the rankings until he becomes a credible challenger for Inoue,” Ito explained.
Casimero said he is very thankful for the rare opportunity to be promoted by Ito who is a former WBO world super featherweight champion.
The 32-year-old Ito has an impressive pro record of 27 wins with 15 knockouts, four losses, and one draw. His last bout was in April last year before he decided to hang his gloves and venture into boxing promotions.
Meanwhile, Casimero, 33, of Merida, Leyte has a record of 32-4 (win-loss) with 22 knockouts. His most recent bout was against Ryo Akaho in Incheon, South Korea.
The bout was initially declared a no-contest after Casimero hit Akaho behind the head. However, upon review by the Korea Boxing Members Commission, they ruled the bout as a second-round knockout for Casimero.
Controversial Quadro Alas
Casimero lost the WBO world bantamweight title last 2022 after the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) caught him using the sauna during fight week for his title defense against Paul Butler in Liverpool, England which is a violation of rules.
“Karon dako kaayo ko ug pasalamat sa akong bag-o nga promoter. Nag guide jud sila nako ug tarong para ibalik ko sa pagka champion. Klaro jud kaayo nga naa jud kontrata, dako kaayo ko ug pagsalig nila,” Casimero said.
“Sikat naman daw ko sa Japan, mao to ilaha ko gi focus nga i-promote nila. Ilang plano ila ko i-train sa Japan. Willing man sad ko mo train didto basta sakto lang ko ug support.”
Casimero is planning to start training in Cebu, particularly at his former stable, the Omega Boxing Gym, and will decide later if he wants to train in Japan or will stay in Cebu. /rcg
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