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MANILA, Philippines – Show medical proof or be stripped of the title.
The World Boxing Organization issued this show cause notice to Johnriel Casimero on Friday, December 10, for his failure to honor his mandatory defense of the bantamweight title versus Paul Butler on Saturday, December 11, at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Citing a bout with gastritis led to his confinement at the American Hospital Dubai at 2 am local time Thursday, Casimero withdrew prior to the official weigh-in on Friday.
It was Stephen Lunas, a member of Team Casimero, who confirmed to Harrison Whitman, Probellum’s chief legal officer, via text messages about Casimero’s non-participation in the championship bout.
As a result, Probellum informed the WBO that it was tapping Joseph Agbeko as Casimero’s replacement. The WBO, through Luis Batista-Salas, chairman of the championship committee, granted the request and made Butler-Agbeko as an interim bantamweight title bout.
Salas also ordered Casimero “to show cause within the next 10 days upon issuance of this letter to submit a medical certification by institution which you were admitted for medical treatment as well as your medical record pertaining to such admittance at the American Hospital Dubai in Dubai, UAE.”
According to Salas, failure to comply “will result in the Committee declaring the WBO Bantamweight Championship ‘Vacant,’ ‘Ipso Facto’ without further notice, citation, or hearing and with the Committee elevating the winner of the Interim of the WBO World Championship bout between Butler & Agbeko to full status as the WBO Bantamweight Champion accordingly.”
While Lunas posted on Facebook that it was “viral gastritis” that brought Casimero down, which his sister corroborated on the Casimero Family vlog, it was contradicted by Casimero’s brother Jayson in Boksingerong Pinoy on YouTube.
According to Jayson, Johnriel was just 1.2 pounds off the 118-pound limit on Thursday night but had to stop trying to make weight after vomiting several times.
Jayson, who acted as Johnriel’s chief trainer, stressed the life of his brother is more important than anything else. – Rappler.com