This past weekend was a big one for the Bantamweight division, as John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20) made a statement and stopped South African fighter Zolani Tete (28-4, 21) in 3 rounds to claim the WBO title. Following that win Japanese star Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥], the current IBF and WBA "super" champion stated that he was interested in facing Casimero.
Today Inoue was in attendance for the latest Ohashi promoted card at Korakuen Hall, headlined by his cousin Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] beating Jheritz Chavez (9-4-2, 7) for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title.
After seeing his cousin's win the "Monster", and mentor Hideyuki Ohashi, spoke to the press regarding his future, and it was made very clear that Inoue really wanted Casimero next.
Following Casimero's win Inoue informed Mr Ohashi, who was in Las Vegas for the US debut of Andy Hiraoka (15-0, 10) [平岡アンディ], that he wanted Casimero and the message was passed on to Top Rank's head honcho Bob Arum, who promoted the show with Hiraoka's bout. According to comments reported in the Japanese press today it seems likely that Arum will focus on that bout and getting a WBA, IBF and WBO unification bout made in the new year.
Inoue's win in November against Nonito Donaire did, of course, see him suffer a fracture to his orbital floor. That injury will be re-examined later this month, and he has already resumed like gym work.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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