WORLD Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight king Johnriel Casimero is in for a tough title defense as he takes on decorated amateur and two-division world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux on Aug. 14 in a yet-to-be-determined venue.
Showtime Boxing announced on April 16 its upcoming schedule, which included the Casimero vs. Rigondeaux fight. It also included the World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight title fight between current titleholder Nordine Oubaali and challenger Nonito Donaire on May 29.
The 32-year-old Casimero is coming off a huge third round technical knockout of previously unbeaten Duke Micah on Sept. 26, 2020. The brash three-division world champion won his last six contests since losing to fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan by unanimous decision in 2017. He knocked out all his opponents in his six-fight streak, most notably Zolani Tete, who he stopped in three rounds.
Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, hasn’t fought for over a year since winning the World Boxing Association (WBA) bantamweight belt with a split decision over Liborio Solis on Feb. 8, 2020.
The 40-year-old Cuban star has fought and beaten some of the elite names in the bantamweight and super bantamweight division, the likes of Donaire Jr. and Joseph Agbeko. His only career defeat was back in 2017 when he moved two weight divisions higher to challenge then WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko. He lost via a sixth round stoppage.
Casimero is 30-4 with 21 knockouts, while Rigondeaux is 20-1 with 13 knockouts.
Casimero has been chasing a super fight with Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue. Hopefully a win over Rigondeaux earns him a shot at Inoue in a world title unification bout.