The previously scheduled bantamweight confrontation between WBO champion John Riel Casimero and WBA Regular belt holder Guillermo Rigondeaux is back in business at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, on August 14.
Casimero and Rigondeaux were originally due to fight on the summer date before the Cuban was replaced by WBC champion Nonito Donaire in a more marketable contest between big-hitting Filipinos.
But earlier this week Donaire withdrew after an initial disagreement about VADA testing turned ugly on social media. The WBC title holder was unhappy with the treatment of his wife and manager Rachel Donaire in exchanges with Casimero’s camp and pulled out on principle.
Now the 40-year-old Rigondeaux, who defeated Donaire on the cards back in April 2013, has been promoted back to main event status. The Cuban southpaw (20-1, 13 KOs & 1 NC) will return from an 18-month lay-off following a split decision win over Liborio Solis to claim the WBA belt in February 2020.
MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons accepted that the argument with the Donaires had spun out of control but feels that the crafty Rigondeaux could be a more difficult assignment for his fighter Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs), last seen bombing out Duke Micah in three in September.
“We jump on the sword and say there were some things that shouldn’t have been said,” Gibbons told Mike Coppinger of ESPN.com. “That’s boxing. We’re not in ballet; we’re in boxing.
“I think we’re fighting the tougher fight. We’re fighting the guy who beat Donaire. He’s only had one bad fight in his life and that was fighting a guy two divisions bigger than him, Vasiliy Lomachenko. Guillermo Rigondeaux … dude has a lot of life left in him. We’re taking on a very difficult challenge.”