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    Casimero stands in way of Donaire bid to unify world bantamweight titles

    Jun 6, 2021

    A Nonito Donaire-Johnriel Casimero title fight in the horizon?

    If the stars align, a slambang action could see the two clashing in a unification bout between two Filipinos who also happen to be two of the best bantamweight fighters in the world today.

    The 38-year-old Donaire himself is aware of such possibility shortly after he won the World Boxing Council (WBC) version of the 118-pound title last week with a fourth-round stoppage of Nordine Oubaali.

    The ‘Filipino Flash’ made known his goal to become undisputed bantamweight world champion, and to do that he must go through the brash Casimero, currently the holder of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) title belt.

    “There’s a Filipino champion, regardless,” said Donaire, while trying not to mention the name of Casimero. “For me now it’s just mainly getting the goal, and that is winning and becoming undisputed (champion).”

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      Of course, Casimero, 31, has to take care of his end of the bargain. The pride of Ormoc is penciled for an August 14 title defense against former world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba.

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      Rigondeaux previously beat Donaire via unanimous decision to dethrone the Filipino of his WBO belt in 2013.

      A win by the Cuban, a two-time Olympic gold medal winner, over Casimero could likely set him up a rematch with Donaire.

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      Then there’s unbeaten Japanese champion Naoya Inoue, who is also on the radar of Donaire after losing to him in their unification match in November of 2019.

      Inoue, who takes on another Filipino in Michael Dasmarinas on June 20 (Manila time) in Las Vegas, Nevada, holds the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) crowns.

      Filipino Reymart Gaballo is currently a top bantamweight contender who owns the WBA interim bantamweight championship.

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        Richard Schaefer, whose Ringstar Sports promotes Donaire, said it’s understandable everybody wants a piece of the Filipino especially after his impressive knockout win over the 34-year-old Oubaali.

        “He is the biggest name in the division, too. I mean who wouldn’t want to fight one of the most legendary fighters in Nonito Donaire,” said Schaefer, the former CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.

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