For Casimero the bout sees him return to UK for the second time, following a win over Charlie Edwards back in 2016, and also gives him a great chance to become a legitimate 3 weight world champion. As for Tete the bout will be his first in over a year. The last time the South African was in the ring was back in October 2018, when he out pointed Mikhail Aloyan in a WBSS quarter final bout. A planned bout earlier this year for Tete, against Nonito Donaire, was cancelled due to a shoulder injury, that forced him out of the WBSS. That type of ring rust will not help Tete against an unorthodox and wild fighter like Casimero.
On Saturday WBO "interim" Bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero (27-4, 18) will make his first defense of his title, as he takes on Mexican challenger Cesar Ramirez (18-3, 11). The bout, from the Philippines, is being aired in the UK on Boxnation and is one of a number of big fights taking place over a stacked weekend. For gamblers this is a bout that is available, at least in the UK, to bet on.
Unsurprisingly the talented, though somewhat inconsistent, Casimero is the very clear favourite. The Filipino is available at 1/7 to win the bout, by any means, whilst Ramirez is available as high as 6/1 to win, with the draw widely available at 25/1.
Of course with odds on the champion being so low there's perhaps more interest in the "Method" of victory market, and this is where things do get a lot more noteworthy.
The Filipino is best priced at 5/4 to win by decision, or technical decision, and 12/10 to win by stoppage. On the other hand the Mexican is 9/1 to win by decision, or technical decision, and the same price for the stoppage win.
Although Casimero has a reputation for blowing hot and cold at times it's hard to see Casimero, even at his worst, losing to Ramirez here. It's not so much a "who wins?" but a "how does Casimero win?" question.
Related - Casimero set to face Ramirez in first interim title defense
Earlier this week British TV channel Boxnation announced that they would be broadcasting the upcoming WBO "interim" Bantamweight title fight between champion John Riel Casimero (27-4, 18) and Mexican challenger Cesar Ramirez (18-3, 11), live from the Philippines.
The bout is one of the very few Asian shows the channel has picked up, which is disappointing from the "Home of Champions", but it's better late than never.
The bout will be Casimero's first defense of the title he won earlier this year, when he stopped Ricardo Espinoza Franco in the final round of a very close bout, and will see him seeking a 4th straight T/KO win, as he's rebuilt wonderful from his disappointing 2017 loss to Jonas Sultan. On the other hand this will be Ramirez's first "world" title bout, and see him hunting a 7th straight win.
Interestingly both fighters have previously fought in the UK, where Boxnation are based. Ramirez fought against Ryan Burnett in 2016, being dropped in the 8th round before losing a very wide decision to the Northern Irishman. Casimero's UK bout was also in 2016, when he stopped Charlie Edwards in 10 rounds to retain the IBF Flyweight title. It's also worth noting that the winner will have a fight with Zolani Tete lined up, someone who is promoted by the UK's Frank Warren, and that bout could well end up in Britain as well.
Earlier today it was revealed that WBO "interim" Bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero (27-4, 18) would be making his first defense on August 24th, as he takes on Mexican challenger Cesar Ramirez (18-3, 11) in the Philippines, at a yet to be announced venue.
Casimero won the title earlier this year, when he stopped Ricardo Espinoza Franco in a thrilling 12 round bout, stopping the Mexican in the final round of their ultra-competitive contest in Carson, California. Sadly whilst the bout was a sensational one for the handful of fans in the venue, it wasn't given any TV time and the only video available was amateur footage, though that footage did show a brilliant fight that deserved so much more attention than it got.
The win over Franco saw Casimero take a world title at a third weight, having previously won belts at Light Flyweight and Flyweight, and in theory make himself the leading contender for South African fighter Zolani Tete (28-3, 21), who is the WBO's regular champion albeit a champion currently on the shelf following an injury that forced him to withdraw from the WBSS. Sadly it appears a bout with Tete will have to wait, and it's unclear when the "Last Born" will return to the ring.
Whilst Casimero's win over Franco was a thriller it's hard to imagine the same sort of drama here against Ramirez, who has gotten a shot off very little. Coming in Ramirez is on a 6 fight winning run, though has been facing very weak opposition since losing a wide decision against Ryan Burnett back in July 2016. His competition really shouldn't have put him in the mix for a title fight, even an interim title fight, but as we all know boxing can reward the undeserving. Other than Burnett there's only 1 other fight of note on Ramirez's record, and that is Alejandro Gonzalez Jr who stopped him in 2 rounds way back in 2012.
We expect to hear more about this bout, and the under-card for it, in the coming weeks.
The second season of the WBSS doesn't seem like it can catch a break, of any kind. The tournament started with high expectations on the back of a brilliant inaugural season, but has been troubled by various woes, from bad scheduling, poor crowds, a frustrating lack of a TV deal in the UK, the injury of Ryan Burnett and financial problems.
Now the WBSS semi-final bout between Zolani Tete (28-3, 21) and Nonito Donaire (39-5, 25) is off, with Tete suffering an injury, a story broken by Mike Coppinger-
The plan seems to be fore Donaire to remain on the card at all cost, and it seems like he will be matched with 30 year old American Stephon Young (18-1-3, 7), who suffered his sole defeat at the hands of Reymart Gaballo last year in an interim WBA Bantamweight title fight. That would, potentially, become the new semi-final, with Donaire defending the WBA "super" title against Young, in what would be a hugely disappointing match up, but better than seeing Donaire pulled from the card at such late notice.
Young was scheduled for the show anyway, and should be in good condition, though was preparing for someone else and not Donaire. Originally it was Nikolai Potapov, though Potapov himself was removed from the card and replaced by Daniel Lozano at relatively short notice.
If Young does fill in against Donaire the winner of that bout will then be expected to fight in the final, against the winner of the second semi-final, between Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] and Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12), with that bout taking place in May. Sadly though the WBO title will not be expected to be up for grabs in the eventual final, meaning the Muhammad Ali Trophy winner will not have either the WBO or WBC titles.
Staying on the subject of the WBO title, depending on the length of Tete's injury he is probably going to be returning to defend the belt against the newly crowned WBO "interim" champion John Riel Casimero (27-4, 18), who won the title this past weekend. Whilst that's a good fight to look forward to down the line, it is not Tete Vs Donaire, and it is not a WBSS semi-final bout.
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