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MANILA, Philippines – Johnriel Casimero remains a world champion.
This after the WBO issued an official resolution on Thursday, December 23, acknowledging the Filipino bantamweight champion was not able to defend the 118-pound belt against mandatory challenger Paul Butler on December 11 at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai because of a medical issue.
Casimero got hospitalized on December 9 and was unable to attend the official weigh-in on December 10 because of viral gastritis.
The WBO first issued a show cause order telling Team Casimero to provide a medical certificate within ten days to prove his illness, otherwise, he would be stripped of his title.
Team Casimero was able to comply and the WBO found as meritorious the document and the reason given.
“There is no controversy as to the cause of Casimero’s physical impediment to engaging in the WBO bantamweight mandatory championship bout against Paul Butler per the medical documents furnished to the WBO. In essence, all the supportive evidence concluded that Casimero’s diagnosis was viral gastritis,” the resolution stated.
“Furthermore, these findings were rendered by duly licensed physicians and certified by the respective medical institutions. Therefore, we deem it unnecessary to challenge these findings through independent medical reviews.”
Casimero, who is back in the country from Dubai, wants to dispose of Butler before tangling with either Naoya Inoue or compatriot Nonito Donaire Jr., the WBC king, in a unification.
Inoue defended his titles by knocking out Thai Aran Dipaen on December 14 in Tokyo.
The WBO resolution also gave Probellum, the Casimero-Butler title duel promoter, 15 days to decide if it is going to reschedule the bout. – Rappler.com