Earlier today Mike Coppinger reported that the planned WBO Bantamweight title bout between John Riel Casimero (30-4, 21) and Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-1-0-1, 13) was off, with Rigondeaux having been replaced by WBC Bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (41-6, 27), in the first unification bout between Filipino fighters in the 4-title era!
According to Coppinger, writing for TheAthletic, Rigondeaux was asked to step aside and allow the Donaire Vs Casimero bout to take place, with the Cuban waiting in the wings for the eventual winner. Along with a WBC mandatory and a likely WBO mandatory also set to be waiting for the winner.
In all honesty this promises a lot more fireworks than the previously planned bout, which had the potential to be a stinker with the 40 year old Rigondeaux being the antithesis of a TV friendly fighter, whilst Casimero and Donaire both love to look for a big KO punch. It also ties up two of the world titles, which would make a potential unification bout with the winner of tonight's bout between Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥] and Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20) would be for all 4 titles.
For the two Filipino fighters it was also be an historic bout, being the first unification between two Filipino fighters, and would see the winner getting bragging rights over the other man. For Filipino fans this will be a huge contest, and for fans of the lower weights this one promises so much, and has a real air of unpredictability.
As for Rigondeaux it does leave him waiting for a shot, and sadly for him, it could end up seeing him aging out of contention, given he is already the wrong side of 40.
The fight is set for August 14th in Carson, California, and will be aired on Showtime in the US.
Tomorrow we'll see Japanese star Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥] defending his IBF and WBA "super" titles at Bantamweight against Filipino challenger Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20). Today, ahead of their fight, the two men took part in their weigh in.
On the scales both men had no issues, with Dasmarinas stepping on the scales first. He came in at 117.4lbs, comfortably under the 118lb limit. Inoue then stepped on the scales and came in bang on the divisional limit.
Although he made weight, with room to spare, Dasmarinas did look somewhat gaunt in the face and as if making weight had taken something from him. It is worth noting that this is his first bout since October 2019, where he came in at 123lbs, and his first Bantamweight bout since March 2019, when he beat Kenny Demecillo in an IBF world title eliminator.
Whilst Dasmarinas didn't look comfortable on the scales Inoue did. He looked incredibly comfortable in fact and the work he and his team have been doing to make weight shows as he looked in genuinely incredible condition. Notably this was the 4th in 6 bouts where he has come in bang on 118lbs, and it's clear that he's at his best weight, at least for now.
Related - The Monster faces IBF mandatory Dasmarinas!
This coming weekend we see the much anticipated ring return of Japanese star Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥], as he looks to defend his IBF and WBA "super" titles at Bantamweight, and takes on Filipino challenger Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20). The bout will be Inoue's first in front of fans in Las Vegas, and will be Dasmarinas' first in the US, and Dasmarinas's first bout at world level.
Unsurprisingly the "Monster" is a massive favourite here, so much so that he's a prohibitive favourite and almost unbackable to "win". In fact the best price available on Inoue is 1/16, a frankly horrific price in this sport. Dasmarinas on the other hand is best priced at 12/1, but is more widely available at 9/1 and 8/1. The draw is best priced at 33/1 but is widely available at 25/1.
As for the method of victory market, which will be a lot more interesting to Inoue backers, Inoue is 1/5 to win by stoppage and 6/1 to win by decision. Dasmarinas is available at 16/1 to win by stoppage and a massive 28/1 to win by decision.
The length of bout market here has been set at 4.5 rounds. The over is best priced at 5/6 whilst the under is best priced at evens. With that in mind it will no surprise at all to know the bout is not expected to go the distance, with odds of 2/17 on the bout ending early and a huge 6/1 on the fight going the distance.
Related - The Monster faces IBF mandatory Dasmarinas!
This coming Saturday we'll see Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥] take on Filipino challenger Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20), in what will be a mandatory defense of the IBF Bantamweight title from Inoue, who will also be putting his WBA "super" title on the line.
Yesterday, ahead of their fight, the two men took part in a press conference, along with some of the other notable fighters from the show and promoter Bob Arum.
Prior to getting to the main event, the 4 other fighters involved in the TV broadcast spoke about their bouts, with Adam Lopez, Isaac Dogboe, Mikaela Mayer and Erica Anabella Farias all talking about how they feel about their contests.
After the co-feature fighters we then heard from the two men involved in the main event as well as Bob Arum.
Arum began by trying to hype up the bout, talking about his history of having fights with Filipino's before we heard the views from the two fighters, through translators, with Inoue explaining he knew Dasmarinas was a good fight and Dasmarinas explaining that he had done everything he could to prepare for Inoue.
Inoue later went on to say that he wanted to live up to the fans expectations and that he was honoured to have the "Monster" nickname. Asked what America has to learn about Dasmarinas, the Filipino explained that fans have to learn about "hot and spicy punches", referencing his boxing nickname.
We've included the full press conference below for those wanting to watch.
Around a week ago Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥] arrived in the US ahead of his upcoming defense of the IBF and WBA "super" Bantamweight world titles against Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20). At the time he was accompanied by father and trainer Shingo Inoue, his brother Takuma Inoue [井上拓真] and his cousin Koki Inoue [浩樹井上].
Yesterday he was joined by the rest of his team, including promoter Hideyuki Ohashi, who will be in attendance for the fight cheering on his charge.
The promoter has joined the Inoue clan for the fight and the group have now moved into the bubble at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
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