MANILA, Philippines – Expect a brutal slugfest when the unification title duel between Naoya “Monster” Inoue and Johnriel “Quadro Alas” Casimero happens on April 25 in Las Vegas.
With negotiations between the two camps a “done deal,” ring pundits and fans are already drooling for what could be another Fight of the Year candidate.
Inoue survived a tough challenge from Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire in Saitama, Japan last November, keeping the World Boxing Association bantamweight crown by unanimous decision in what was later chosen as 2019 Fight of the Year.
While he remained unscathed after 19 bouts with 16 knockouts, the Japanese sustained an orbital fracture and got exposed as vulnerable to a power puncher with good defensive ability like Donaire.
Casimero can also bring Inoue lots of trouble being a pressure fighter and relentless banger. The pride of Ormoc City showed he’s an elite fighter after disposing off South African Zolani Tete in 3 rounds in Birmingham, England to clinch the World Boxing Organization 118-pound title.
According to reports, the camps of Inoue, who’ll be appearing in his first fight under the Top Rank banner, and Casimero, who’s representing MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions headed by international matchmaker Sean Gibbons, have “agreed to terms.”
All that’s needed is for Top Rank honcho Bob Arum and Akihiko Honda of Teiken Promotions to sign the deal.
The 30-year-old Casimero holds a 29-4 record with 20 knockouts, his last defeat occurring in 2017 against countryman Jonas Sultan.
Since then, the southpaw has stopped his last 5 opponents.
Right after his victory over Tete, Casimero called out Inoue, who hinted then he’s willing to fight Casimero next.
Gibbons then went to Japan to hold talks with Arum and Honda.
Now, Casimero-Inoue is in the offing, with the winner likely to figure in another unification against the victor between World Boxing Council champion Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs) and Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs), who was designated mandatory challenger due to his strong performance against Inoue. – Rappler.com