Casimero at crossroads as trainer returns home

Roy Luarca
Casimero at crossroads as trainer returns home
With his trainer heading back to the Philippines, Johnriel Casimero weighs if he, too, needs to just return home and wait for his new fight schedule


MANILA, Philippines – His lead trainer gone, will Johnriel Casimero follow suit?

Only the World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion can provide the answer.

Nonoy Neri, who supervised Casimero’s preparations for his unification showdown with Naoya Inoue in Las Vegas, posted on Facebook Friday, June 26 (Saturday, June 27, Philippine time) a picture of himself donning sunglasses and a white mask with the caption: “Bye Vegas see you Pinas.”

True enough, Neri took the earliest flight out  and is headed to Manila, where he will have to undergo swab testing for COVID-19 upon arrival. Once he gets cleared and doesn’t need to be quarantined, Neri will proceed to Davao to reunite with his family.

Casimero remained in Vegas with brother Jayson, deputy trainer Sugar Lucas, and strength and conditioning coach Memo Heredia, but said on Friday he wants to go home to Ormoc first since Top Rank Inc can’t provide a date yet for his fight with Inoue.

The earliest chief promoter Bob Arum could promise is September or October, when a limited crowd, subject to coronavirus protocols, may be allowed by the Nevada Athletic Commission. (READ: Homesick Casimero wants to go home, train in Ormoc)

If Casimero, who has been in the United States since mid-February, decides to stay, Lucas and Heredia will take over the training chores while they wait for Arum’s go signal for the clash with Inoue.

If he chooses to go home and train in his hometown, Casimero can reunite with Neri and wait for the call of MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons on when they should return to the US.

Previously, Arum proposed another opponent for Casimero as Inoue couldn’t leave Japan en route to the US yet because of travel restrictions.

Gibbons and Casimero rejected the idea and insisted on waiting for Inoue.

Now, Casimero’s patience is running thin and may reconsider his options. –


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