NONITO Donaire formally backed out of his unification fight with Johnriel Casimero for what he said was the blatant display of misbehavior by his fellow Filipino from the time the August 14 showdown was first announced a week ago.
In a long post on his social media platforms, the 38-year-old champion reiterated the delayed action taken by the Casimero camp to enroll with VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association), and the disrespect shown by his opponent to his wife and family were the reasons behind his decision to pull the plug on the bout slated in Carson, California 45 days from now.
“I STAND for VADA 24/7/365 testing for ALL boxers. This should never be refused or delayed. I stand against BULLYING in any form. I STAND against the disrespect and ABUSE of women and children physically, mentally, and emotionally,” said Donaire in his post.
Reached for comment, MP (Manny Pacquiao) president Sean Gibbons said there has been no official cancellation of the fight yet.
“We have not been told by the promoter anything,” Gibbons said from Las Vegas.
The 12-round match was first announced last June 19 during the Naoya Inoue-Michael Dasmarinas title fight.
But Donaire, who earlier demanded an apology from Casimero for the fight to push through, apparently already made up his mind.
The reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) champion lashed back at Casimero, who he accused of unprofessional behavior in the lead-up to what was supposed to be the first world unification fight between two Filipinos.
“For the boxing culture to change, promoters and networks should veer away from unacceptable behavior and not encourage it,” said Donaire, who along with his wife and manager Rachel had a heated exchange on IG Live with Casimero pal and aide Mark Yao.
The Casimero camp has already been enrolled with the VADA testing program, but the Donaires claimed the World Boxing Organization (WBO) title holder didn’t register until the threat of the fight being called off was made.
“We’ve stated before, we cancelled this fight when they delayed turning in the VADA paperwork for five days. We have proof that the opposing side was neither honest nor forthcoming in providing the proper information to begin VADA drug testing,” said the four-division world champion.
“After we cancelled the fight, then and only then did the paperwork suddenly appear. I do what I say.”
Donaire added not facing Casimero is his way of getting back at him by denying the native of Ormoc his biggest moment in boxing - and his biggest career paycheck.
“As much as I want to knock him out, I’m going to take the high road and instead of highlighting his misbehaviors, I’m not going to give his example the stage or the payday that comes with it,” he said.
Donaire withdrawing from the Casimero fight meant taking on other options available including a possible lucrative rematch with unbeaten Japanese tormentor Naoya Inoue.
The Filipino Flash is looking forward to a rematch with Inoue, who beat him in 2019 via unanimous decision, for another unification match when the opportunity to face Casimero presented itself.
Donaire has been vocal about becoming the undisputed world bantamweight champion and meant having to go through both Casimero and Inoue, who holds the WBA (World Boxing Association) and IBF (International Boxing Federation) version of the 118-pound title.
Casimero himself was supposed to meet Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux on the same August 14 fight date, but chose to take the Donaire fight instead.
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