A WORLD title showdown between Johnriel Casimero and Donnie Nietes?
While it may look good on papers, the fight is not exactly feasible.
Promoter Sammy Gelo-Ani said pitting two distinguished Filipino fighters in a championship bout won't do any good for a country that doesn’t exactly enjoy a surplus of world boxing champions at present.
“The fight would be good, but as a promoter, I don’t see it happening,” said Gelo-Ani, who handles Casimero, the reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight title holder.
The possibility of the two facing each other in the ring was raised following Nietes’ recent decision to vacant the World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-flyweight crown and move up in weight, in the hope of earning a shot at former WBO and World Boxing Association (WBA) flyweight king Juan Estrada of Mexico.
But by doing so, Nietes also opens the prospect of meeting the 26-year-old Casimero, who just a week ago retained his 112-lbs. title with a 10th round TKO of Briton Charlie Edwards.
Gelo-Ani however, wouldn’t have none of it.
“We’d rather fight someone else. We don’t want to pit a Filipino champion against another Filipino,” said the former personnel of Cebu-based ALA Promotions, who had a hand in making Nietes a world champion back in 2007.
“Mahirap kasi unti na nga lang yung world champions natin, tapos sila pa ang maglalaban. Maganda sana, pero I’d rather not have it.”
Casimero, 26, is also against the idea of clashing with his former sparring partner, who is set to meet former world champion Edgar Sosa this Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California in his debut at flyweight.
“Parehas kaming Pinoy, kaya mas maganda na taga ibang bansa ang makakalaban namin,” said the champion from Ormoc, Leyte.
The only way for the fight to happen is for Nietes to become the mandatory challenger to Casimero’s crown.
“If that’s the case, then we will be mandated to fight them,” he said.
A champion cannot decline a mandatory challenger unless he wants to risk losing the title. In such a case, according to Gelo-Ani, it’s the mandatory challenger who can decline the fight.
“But again we’d rather fight someone else,” Gelo-Ani said, adding that because it’s very difficult to stage a big fight here in the Philippines, Casimero may end up defending his title in Japan, Mexico, England or the United States.