BRASH World Boxing Organization bantamweight king Johnriel Casimero is confident that he’ll end the boxing career of two-division world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux in their world title showdown on August 14, 2021 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
“When I beat Rigondeaux on Aug. 14, he’s going to retire,” Casimero said in a recent press conference. “He’s finished. Finito!”
The 32-year-old Casimero is deep in training for his fight with Rigondeaux at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood along with Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and other Pinoy boxers like Mark Magsayo, Jonas Sultan and former world champion Marlon Tapales.
Casimero was supposed to fight World Boxing Council bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. in what could have been the first all-Filipino world championship unification bout in history. However, Donaire Jr. pulled out of the fight, claiming that Casimero didn’t comply with his demands of the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency testing. Donaire Jr. was also insulted by Casimero’s strength and conditioning coach Memo Heredia’s lewd act on social media directed to his wife, Rachel.
“Rigondeaux thinks that Donaire is a better fighter than me, so I’m going to change his opinion on Aug. 14,” said Casimero.
The 40-year-old Rigondeaux fought and beat Donaire Jr. in 2013. He was dropped in the 10th round but walked away with a unanimous decision win. Casimero feels that a win over Rigondeaux will hopefully get him a fight with Donaire Jr. or a dream match with World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation bantamweight king Naoya Inoue.
“I need to win this fight so that I can keep moving along and get the next two big fights against Donaire and Naoya Inoue. But maybe those two are scared of me and don’t want to fight me,” he said.
Rigondeaux, however, brushed off Casimero’s trash talk and challenged him to back up his words on top of the ring.
“He says he’s going to retire me, so it’s on now. We’ll see if he’s able to back up that talk on Aug. 14,” he said. “Casimero is a good opponent. Every opponent that I face believes that they can beat me, but the pressure is on them to back that up. I can only control what I bring and I know I’m going to be ready.”
Rigondeaux has seen it all and has shared the ring with the best, the likes of Donaire Jr., Vasyl Lomachenko and Joseph Agbeko.
“I’m not worried about Casimero’s power or anything he brings. I’ve fought in three divisions and I’ve gone after the biggest challenges every time. I’m just not worried about what Casimero will do in the ring,” he said.
Casimero is 30-4 with 21 knockouts, while Rigondeaux is 20-1 with 13 knockouts.