By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
It seems John Riel Casimero will be able to hold on to his World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight belt this time. But if misses another weigh-in, stripping him of it will be the only option.
After Casimero successfully complied with his show cause order when he missed the first official weigh-in during his set bout against Paul Butler last December 11, 2021 due to viral gastritis, the WBO is again finalizing the fight that is set to take place on April 23, 2022.
Also, under the set rules of the WBO, if Casimero misses the weigh-in, suffers an injury, or will refuse to fight due to other reasons, he will automatically be stripped of his belt.
“More than two years have elapsed without a mandatory title defense, and therefore Casimero must discharge his mandatory defense obligations per WBO Regulations,” explained the WBO.
The first showdown was already set to go down in Dubai but will be transferred to London for the second proposed fight.
Casimero will have to deal with the hard-punching Butler who was also the former IBF bantamweight champion last 2014 and was the no. 1 contender for the super-flyweight last 2015.
Aside from tackling the determined Butler, Casimero will also have to overcome a long lay-off from the boxing ring.
His last bout was against boxing tactician Guillermo Rigondeaux last August 14, 2021, where he won via a split decision.
“Please be advised that the WBO World Championship Committee grants sanction approval for the above-referenced Bantamweight Mandatory bout between John Riel Casimero and Paul Butler, scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom,” said WBO Championship Committee chairman Luis Batista-Salas.