Inoue vs Casimero World Bantamweight Unification Showdown Postponed
Concerns over COVID-19/coronavirus have reared its ugly head once again vis-a-vie boxing. As a result, multiple boxing bouts have now bit the dust. The latest fight affected by the virus now involves WBA/IBF World Bantamweight Champion Naoya Inoue.
The 26-year-old Japanese superstar took to Twitter to announce his upcoming April 25 unification bout against WBC World Bantamweight titleholder John Riel Casimero. That fight, which was set to take place at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, has been postponed.
WHY IS THIS SUCH A BUMMER?
Inoue is on the fast-track towards boxing superstardom. In 2019, the man known as “Monster” was named Ring Magazine’s Fighter Of The Year. Also, his November 2019 win over Nonito Donaire in the WBSS Bantamweight tournament finals was ESPN’s Fight Of The Year.
His impending fight was to be his debut with Top Rank/ESPN and step one to him becoming a possibly hot commodity in the U.S. In Casimero, Inoue was to face a very competent and credible opponent who happens to be a three-time, three-division world champion. He has held titles at junior flyweight, flyweight, and bantamweight.
And as icing on the cake, there was underlying bad blood between the two men. Following his November 2019 upset 3rd round TKO stoppage win over Zolani Tete to capture the WBO 118-pound strap, the 31-year-old from Ormoc City, Leyte, Philippines immediately challenged Inoue.
In a rare display of emotion, Inoue immediately took to social media to express his interest in fighting the Filipino. He informed Top Rank boss Bob Arum “The Fight I want now is Casimero”.
BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY
But alas, health and safety concerns take precedence over any and everything. This virus has been now declared a pandemic with a global impact. And because of that, it is best to be on the side of caution until all parties are more informed and get a hold of how to handle this emerging crisis.
Boxing, like all sports, has been hit hard and heavy by this pandemic. Many events are currently being put on the shelf and the fear is that many future boxing shows will be in trouble.
This is a bumpy road, as we all are no doubt dealing with something we have no real grasps or true comprehension of.
However, the Sweet Science has a way of being the proverbial rose growing through concrete. Despite the dire circumstances and now dealing with the equivalent of a standing eight-count, the sport always finds a way to survive and thrive.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.