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Casimero Top Candidate as Inoue Foe in UK Super Bout?

By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Tue, 14 May 2024

Johnriel Casimero could be the leading candidate as Naoya Inoue's opponent in a projected super fight in London this September.

The handlers of undisputed world superbantam king have admitted to finding as "irresistible" the alleged $13 million purse being offered by Saudi sports promoter His Excellency Turki Alalshikh for Inoue to figure in the promotion being planned in the UK with Anthony Joshua in the main event.

The only question is if Inoue will agree to fight underneath Joshua and if he will be willing to travel to London.

Inoue has fought only three times outside Japan in his 12 years of professional fighting. Twice in the USA where in his last in 2020, his supposed original opponent was Casimero himself but whom promoter Bob Arum replaced with Australian Jason Moloney. Inoue knocked out Moloney in seven rounds in defense of his world title. Since then Naoya has exclusively fought in Japan.

Earlier, Inoue has also fought in Glasgow, Scotland in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series where he wrested the IBF bantamweight title from Emmanuel Rodriguez via 2nd round knockout in May 2019.

After disposing off Luis Nery in his recent title defense at the Tokyo Dome, Inoue has expressed preference of fighting Australian Sam Goodman next, also in Japan.

Then comes the offer to fight in London.

There's a problem assuming Naoya agrees to go to London and insists on Goodman as his foe because the Australian, good as he is, is not known to UK fans.

British TJ Doheny is under consideration but his prime may be past him.

Many things are going for Casimero as the top choice.

The Filipino is well known to UK fans having won his two title fights there against the popular Charlie Edwards and Zolani Tete both by easy stoppage.

He also had a run in with the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) which prevented him from defending his then WBO bantam crown due to unknowingly violating its sauna rule policy leading to his being stripped of his WBO title.

Most importantly, Casimero is a three division world champion who has not been defeated since losing to countryman Jonas Sultan in world super flyweight eliminator in 2017.

Despite being no longer world champion, boxrec ranks Casimero #2 at super bantamweight next only to Naoya. He is also the only Filipino in boxrec's top 20 pound for pound fighters in the world.

But Naoya remains hesitant to commit to fighting him reasoning this time that Johnriel may be past prime.

Oh well...

Kung gusto maraming paraan, kung ayaw maraming dahilan as we Tagalogs used to say.

Let us hope His Excellency's alleged juicy offer helps in overcoming such vacillation.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at and by phone 09215309477.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.

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