MANILA, Philippines – John Riel Casimero is right, after all.
It’s Naoya Inoue, not him, who’s feeling the pressure in their unifying bantamweight title duel on Saturday, April 25 (Sunday, April 26, Philippine time).
“Right now, I feel as though I’m carrying all the weight on my shoulders. If I don’t win a match of this level now, I think my future will be tough,” Inoue told Japan Forward.
“If I’m able to put on a sensational match in Las Vegas, I believe boxing will become more popular in Japan. There is a dream to this profession, because there are no limits to the amount you can earn in boxing.”
Other than financial consideration and bringing ring glory to his country, Inoue, the World Boxing Association (Super) and International Boxing Federation bantamweight champion, wants to become the undisputed champion of the 118-pound division.
That’s why he readily responded to the challenge of Casimero, the World Boxing Organization king, for a title duel. (READ: Casimero holds no fear of Inoue)
Despite his sterling 19-0, 16 knockouts record, Inoue believes hard training will still be the key to victory over Casimero (29-4, 20 knockouts).
Inoue, who said the fractured orbital bone he sustained against Nonito Donaire has fully healed, revealed he visualizes fighting not just one (Casimero) but different opponents when he’s at the gym.
Boasting an 84% knockout percentage, the 26-year-old Inoue intends to include Casimero, 31, among his victims.
Casimero, of course, also feels he packs enough power to conquer the Japanese Monster and shock the world which has installed him the huge underdog in the 12-rounder.
“I want to show I’m the real monster,” said Casimero, who already looks ripped from the photos sent by MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons.
Casimero is in Miami, Florida, building up his physique, power and stamina under the guidance of strength and conditioning guru Memo Heredia.
Inoue, on the other hand, is training back home and will fly to the United States a month before his fight with Casimero.