By Jim Maltzman: WBA ‘regular’ bantamweight champion Guillermo ‘The Jackal’ Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KOs) is back in the picture to take on WBO 118-lb champion John Riel Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) in the headliner on Showtime Boxing on August 14th at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist Rigondeaux, 40, is getting up there in age, but he’s still fighting at a high level. Since losing to Vasily Lomachenko in 2017, Rigondeaux has won his last three fights.
In his last fight, Rigondeaux defeated Liborio Solis by a 12 round split decision in February 2020 to capture the WBA ‘regular’ 118-lb title.
This will be a tough fight for Rigondeaux against the 32-year-old Casimero, as he’s fighting at a high level, and he’s going to putting a lot of pressure on the Cuban talent.
For Rigondeaux to defeat Casimero, he’s going to need to have his defense up to snuff. Rigondeaux looks a lot better now that he’s moved down from the 122-lb weight class, which he was always a little too small for.
He was able to get away with being undersized when he was younger, but now that he’s 40, he’s made the right decision in moving down to 118.
WBC champion Nonito Donaire was supposed to be fighting Casimero on that date, but he backed out after getting upset at being trashed talked by him. Rigondeaux had stepped aside to let Donaire face Casimero, but unfortunately, the fight won’t happen.
Casimero took some verbal shots at the former four-division world champion Donaire and his wife, which upset him enough to pull out of the fight.
Additionally, Donaire was also unhappy with Casimero’s delay in agreeing to the VADA testing.
Although he eventually did agree to it, Donaire opted to back out of the fight anyway. It’s a little surprising that Donaire didn’t change his mind and take the fight with Casimero, as he needs his WBO title to face Naoya Inoue for the undisputed 118-lb championship.
You can argue that Donaire would get a bigger payday against Inoue if he was coming off a win over Casimero and had two titles in his possession rather than one.
Some boxing fans feel that Nonito never wanted to fight Casimero due to the high risk involved. They believe that the fight that Donaire really wants is a lucrative rematch Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue. Donaire lost to Inoue in 2019.
In the chief support, bantamweight Gary Antonio Russell (18-0, 12 KOs) will battle former IBF 118-lb champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-2, 12 KOs).
“Sources tell me that the current working plan for the August 14 PBC card on Showtime is Guillermo Rigondeaux returning to the main event to face John Riel Casimero with the WBO & WBA World titles at stake. The co-main event is pegged for Gary Antonio Russell vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez,” said @rangerrollins.
“Rigondeaux had initially agreed to allow WBC champion Nonito Donaire to face WBO champion Casimero in what would have been the biggest all Filipino fight in history, but Donaire ultimately backed out due to his and his wife/manager/trainer Rachel’s personal grudges with Casimero.”