By Nick Giongco
Filipino champion John Riel Casimero has set up a training camp in sunny Miami, way ahead of his April 25 bantamweight unification battle with Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue in Las Vegas.
MP Promotions chief Sean Gibbons expedited Casimero’s training knowing he’ll be in a for war.
To get him primed for Inoue’s devastating power, Gibbons summoned renowned strength coach Memo Heredia anew to whip Casimero into shape.
Gibbons insists though that a fully-prepared Casimero should pose huge problems for the big-hitting Inoue.
“The only way Casimero loses this one is he walks right into a punch he won’t see,” said Gibbons, noting that even if the fight goes the full route of 12 rounds, Casimero is tough to beat.
After three weeks of conditioning, Casimero, who just turned 30 last Thursday, will transfer to Las Vegas for the most crucial phase of the preparation.
As Casimero toughens up in Florida, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank formally announced the showdown between Inoue, the World Boxing Association ruler and Casimero, the World Boxing Organization titlist.
“The ‘Monster’ is coming to Las Vegas, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said the 88-year-old Arum. “He is a generational talent, a fierce competitor who is ready to take the United States by storm. Casimero is a seasoned champion, and Inoue knows he’s in for a firefight at Mandalay Bay.”
Inoue, 26, is thrilled to strut his stuff in Sin City.
“It is a tremendous honor and a dream come true to headline a card in Las Vegas against a great fighter like Casimero,” Inoue said.
“It is my goal to be the undisputed bantamweight king, and I am coming to America to put on a great fight for the fans. I would like to thank Mr. Bob Arum and MGM Resorts for making my Las Vegas dream a reality. Now, the work begins, and I will kick off my 2020 schedule at Mandalay Bay in devastating fashion.”
Casimero (29-4 with 20 KOs) had won the WBO title by mauling Zolani Tete in three rounds in Birmingham, England, on Nov. 30.
Inoue (19-0 with 16 KOs) beat Nonito Donaire in a sizzling shootout in Saitama three weeks before Casimero’s victory over Tete.
Moments after the Donaire win, Arum made the announcement that Inoue had joined the star-studded Top Rank stable.