I know some boxing fans were turned off when Johnriel Casimero belittled Japanese champion Naoya Inoue right after the Pinoy champ defeated Duke Micah in October. While not a few keyboard warriors belittle other champions and their fans, especially those from other countries, Pinoy champions are expected to behave in a certain way, and insulting other champions isn’t one of them.
But, it’s part of the drama in the shady world of boxing and if you want to stand out and be noticed, well, you just can’t be the next good guy to come out of the Philippines.
Still, despite that notion, I thought Casimero seemed to have overstepped his new-found character when I read that he was belittling a fellow Pinoy champion. Now that hasn’t happened before, a Pinoy champion belittling a fellow champion by saying he’s being fattened by being fed weak opponents in his title defenses.
Ouch. In the manly world that is boxing that would have earned a challenge, but Jerry Ancajas, who rose to prominence by becoming a world champion when the rest of the Pinoy champs lost their crowns, didn’t bite, instead maintaining that he still respects Casimero.
Is it all just an act on Casimero’s part to keep him in the Inoue sweepstakes? Or is it, as Eumir Marcial said, a sign of being frustrated after not being named as a potential Inoue opponent even if he was scheduled to fight the Japanese in April.
I guess it’s a little of both. I think Casimero expected to be next on the table after Inoue’s debut in the US, a seventh-round win over Jason Moloney. After all, weren’t they supposed to fight last April 25?
But the Japanese champ instead said he’d prefer to fight the winner of the Dec. 12 fight between Nonito Donaire and Nordine Oubaali and if the Filipino Flash wins, that would make for a tantalizing rematch of their 2019 fight, the culmination of the World Series of boxing that won the fight of the year. If Donaire wins that, that of course could trigger talks of a trilogy, and that of course keeps Casimero out of the equation, which I think explains his tirade against Arum and Ancajas.
While understandable, I hope Casimero won’t keep talking ill about his fellow champ. If he does that, I’m afraid he’ll talk his way out of Casimero versus Inoue and into Casimero versus Ancajas.