Reigning WBO bantamweight titlist John Riel Casimero will face Duke Micah on Sept. 26 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Casimero had been scheduled to face unified WBA “super” and IBF champion Naoya Inoue on April 25 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in a highly anticipated unification bout, but after that fight was scuttled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the economics and logistics changed and this matchup became a casualty.
Asked about the biggest reason for Inoue-Casimero falling apart, Top Rank vice president of operations Carl Moretti answered, “Because we lost a seven-figure gate.”
Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) could instead face Jason Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) in the fall.
“We’re in positive discussions,” Moretti told ESPN on Monday, adding that an Inoue-Moloney bout could land in either October or November.
Moloney, who defeated Leonardo Baez in seven rounds on June 25, is, like Inoue, promoted by Top Rank. Inoue has not fought since he defeated Nonito Donaire in November in the final of the World Boxing Super Series 118-pound tournament.
Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs), who is ranked fifth at 118 pounds by ESPN, became a three-division world champion when he knocked out Zolani Tete in three rounds in November. Casimero quickly made it clear that he wanted to face Inoue, and while plans for that fight have fallen apart for the time being, the possibility for the bout to happen down the line is still in play.
“Everything’s on the table,” said Sean Gibbons of MP Promotions, when asked about the possibility of Inoue-Casimero taking place in 2021. “But we’re not going to sit around and wait for it any more. We’re a WBO world champion. We don’t wait for anybody. We did, but those days are over. We control our own destiny. If that fight presents itself again, it will be reviewed.”
Moretti echoed those sentiments, saying, “Of course, absolutely.”