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MASAM SPORTS 25: JOHN RIEL CASIMERO VS. PAUL BUTLER RESCHEDULED FOR APRIL 23 IN LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND

By Maloney L. Samaco
PhilBoxing.com
Sat, 29 Jan 2022



WBO world bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero is ordered by the governing body to defend his title against mandatory challenger Paul Butler as the WBO approved the fight for April 23 in Liverpool, England.

Casimero (31-4, 21 KOs) was originally scheduled to defend his title against Butler on December 11 in Dubai but the Merida, Leyte born champion withdrew from the fight a day before the official weigh-in citing viral gastritis as the reason.

The WBO order was stated in a letter addressed to Harrison Whitman, Probellum’s Chief Strategy and Legal Officer informing him that the WBO World Championship Committee grants sanction approval for the bantamweight mandatory bout between Casimero and Butler.

Casimero won the title last November 30, 2019 when he stopped South African Zolani Tete by TKO in the third round at the Arena Birmingham, Birmingham, England, but he has not fought a mandatory defense of the championship belt.

WBO further explained that Casimero had two voluntary defenses against Ghana's Duke Micah by TKO3 on September 26, 2020 at the Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, USA and Cuba's Guillermo Rigondeaux by SD12 on August 14, 2021 at the Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California, USA. But per WBO rules, he has to fight a mandatory defense.

The WBO gave a warning that the body can strip Casimero of the title right away in case the Filipino champ does not attend the weigh-in or fails to appear during the fight itself.

“In the event that Casimero does not attend the official weigh-in for any reason whatsoever, refuses to fight, is injured or suffers an injury, or is unavailable to participate regardless the circumstances, the Bantamweight Championship Title will be declared Vacant ‘Ipso Facto’ and with Casimero being rated in the Bantamweight division per WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests,” stated the letter of the WBO.

Consequently, the WBO will tap the next top contender for Casimero to fight in his mandatory defense if Butler (33-2, 15 KOs) fails to appear in the weigh-in or refuses to fight the champion.

Butler rejected a last-minute WBO interim bantamweight title fight with Ghana's Joseph Agbeko, the next available highest contender. The Englishman was suspecting that Casimero was faking his illness to cover up his failure to make the weight limit.

Butler told reporters in Dubai that he will not enter the ring unless the WBO belt is on the line. Paul said "we’re here to win a world title." His contention is that Casimero couldn’t make weight, so they must strip him and make his fight with Agbeko for the vacant world title.

Joe Gallagher, Butler's trainer, confirmed that Paul has said if there’s no world title there’s no fight. That Butler is fully locked and loaded into fighting for a world title and aimed at getting back home as a two-time world champion.

Butler from Ellesmere Port, England, held the IBF bantamweight title in 2014. He defeated countryman Stuart Hall by split decision on June 7, 2014 at Newcastle, England to win the IBF title. Later he vacated the title to fight at the super flyweight division.

Casimero remained as the WBO bantamweight champion after he complied with the sanctioning body’s show cause order.

The WBO then announced that Casimero has fully complied with the order after the titlist was given 10 days to present himself and the proper medical documents after his withdrawal from the title defense scheduled on December 11 in Dubai, UAE.

Casimero was reportedly admitted to the American Hospital Dubai a day before the official weigh-in for the fight at Coca-Cola Arena.

Fight fans want the match to finally happen this time without problems.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.

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