THE World Boxing Organization (WBO) has ordered its bantamweight champion Johnriel Casimero to defend his belt against mandatory challenger Paul Butler.
“The WBO World Championship Committee hereby orders the parties herein commencement of negotiations for the above-mentioned WBO Bantamweight Mandatory Championship Contest,” wrote chairman of the WBO Championship Committee Luis Batista-Salas in a letter posted at the WBO
“Please be advised that the parties have 20 days upon receipt of this letter to reach an agreement.”
Casimero is being promoted by Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions headed by its president Sean Gibbons, while Butler is handled by MTK Global. Both camps have 20 days to reach an agreement or the fight will be open for a purse bid by other promotional companies.
“If an accord is not reached within the time frame set forth herein, a Purse Bid will be ordered pursuant to WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.”
The 32-year-old Casimero is currently targeting a unification bout with either World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire Jr. or World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight king Naoya Inoue in December.
Casimero is coming off a split decision win over Cuban star Guillermo Rigondeaux on Aug. 14 in Carson, California.
Butler is the No. 1 ranked bantamweight and the former IBF bantamweight champion. The 32-year-old Brit is a winner of his last seven fights and is coming off a split decision win over Willibaldo Garcia on June 25.
Casimero is 31-4 with 21 knockouts, while Butler is 33-2 with 15 knockouts.