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    JOHNRIEL Casimero is back to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight crown against original opponent Guillermo Rigondeaux on August 14 in Carson, California.

    MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons on Sunday confirmed the fight will be pushing through after being set aside when World Boxing Council (WBC) title holder Nonito Donaire Jr. agreed to what would have been a historic unification fight between two Filipino world champions.

    Disagreement over VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) testing and hurt feelings over some pre-fight verbal sparring that got out of hand prompted the camp of the 38-year-old Donaire to pull the plug on the unification bout.

    Johnriel Casimero Nonito Donaire

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    The Casimero-Rigondeaux showdown had already been announced weeks before the idea of Casimero facing Donaire was hatched. The Cuban two-time Olympic gold medalist dutifully stepping aside.

    Now, Rigondeaux (20-1-1, 13 KOs) regains the chance at vying for another world title against the 31-year-old brash-talking Casimero.

    Donaire eyes grudge match

    As for Donaire, the Filipino Flash could be looking at a possible rematch with unbeaten Japanese tormentor Naoya Inoue before the year ends.

    Inoue, 28, beat Donaire by unanimous decision in November 2019, but was diagnosed to have suffered a broken nose and a fractured eye socket at fight’s end.


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