What would’ve been the first all-Filipino title unification bout is now off. Nonito Donaire vs John Riel Casimero has been officially scrapped just about two weeks after it was first booked.
A seemingly common pre-fight spat devolved into an uglier and much more personal issue as the two camps got heated and squabbled online. This led to Nonito saying he would pull out of the contest after the “disgusting” behavior directed at his wife and manager, Rachel Donaire.
The four-division champion said he won’t give someone like Casimero “the stage or the payday that comes with it,” and it looks like he really stuck to his words.
Despite Casimero’s promoter in Sean Gibbons guaranteeing it would still push through, the bout is now officially off and they have since found a replacement. According to a report from Lance Pugmire (HT: Bad Left Hook), it’s a “done deal” and Guillermo Rigondeaux is stepping back in to face Casimero.
The date will remain the same, and Casimero’s title defense will still happen on August 14, and will be broadcast on Showtime.
Shortly after his historic win that made him a world champion again, Donaire was tapped to replace Rigondeaux, setting up the Filipino vs Filipino title unification bout. Just two weeks and a lot of angry tweets later, and the original bout is back on.
Casimero (30-4) will now defend his WBO belt against Rigondeaux (20-1), who is coming off three straight wins since he lost to Vasyl Lomachenko in 2017.
Donaire’s (41-6) next move hasn’t been finalized just yet, but he could likely pursue that title unification rematch with Naoya Inoue again, and book a follow up to their 2019 Fight of the Year.