JOHNRIEL Casimero had a ready advice for Guillermo Rigondeaux after their unification fight for the world bantamweight championship was made official on Friday.
“ITS ONNNNN!!! Magsimula ka na mag jogging para ready ka tumakbo sa August,” Casimero posted on Twitter page as he even tagged the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba.
The two top 118-lbs fighters clash on August 14 as announced by Showtime, making it a part of its hectic fight schedule from May to September.
Also part of the Showtime program is the long-delayed title showdown between Nonito Donaire and Nordine Oubaali for the bantamweight version of the World Boxing Council (WBC).
The two were supposed to meet last year but both tested positive for COVID-19, paving the way for Reymart Garballo and Emmanuel Rodriguez to fight for the interim bantamweight belt instead.
The Donaire-Oubaali encounter is set on May 29, although the fight venue has yet to be announced.
But Casimero’s fight against the 40-year-old Rigondeaux is the highly-anticipated one especially after the proud WBO (World Boxing Organization) champ previously challenged the Cuban to fight him in a telephone booth war and not by merely boxing and dancing inside the ring as he had been known to do throughout his career.
“Walang takbuhan basagan lang tayo ng mukha,” Casimero dared Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KOs), the WBA (World Boxing Association) regular champion when the potential title fight was still being discussed late last year.
Casimero, 32, is coming off a third round demolition of Duke Micah in September last year to retain his WBO crown and raise his record to 30-4, with 21 KOs.
He was hoping the impressive win would land him another shot at a unification bout with unbeaten Japanese champion Naoya Inoue, who he was supposed to meet in April last year only for the match to be called off due to the outbreak of the pandemic.
But following the postponement, Inoue and his handler Top Rank chose to set Casimero aside and instead, opted to take on Jason Moloney. The Japanese holder of both the IBF (International Boxing Federation) and WBA (super champion) belts scored a seventh round stoppage of the Australia challenger last October.
Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs) is now set to defend against Filipino mandatory challenger Michael Dasmarinas this June 19 in Las Vegas.