Filipino puncher John Riel Casimero has stopped his last six opponents and believes Cuban maestro Guillermo Rigondeaux will be the seventh straight fighter to fall when they clash at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, on Saturday evening.
WBO bantamweight title holder Casimero feels victory over double Olympic champion Rigondeaux will prove the springboard for a unification clash with either WBA Super and IBF boss Naoya Inoue or WBC king and countryman Nonito Donaire, who was originally scheduled to face him on August 14 before a disagreement broke out between the camps.
“Rigondeaux is a great fighter. But this fight is very important to me because I know my next opponent may be Nonito Donaire or Naoya Inoue,” said Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs). “Those two opponents may be scared of me but Rigondeaux is not scared. But don’t worry Rigondeaux, this will be your last fight on August 14.
“I’ve stopped my last six opponents and Rigondeaux is next. He’s ‘finito’. If I finish Rigondeaux, then maybe Donaire or Inoue will be next. I’m confident I’m going to knock him out because of my training camp. I’ve been training so hard and my coach Nonoy Neri has prepared me for this moment.
“I respect Rigondeaux because he’s a good boxer and a two-time Olympian. But I want to show to the world that I can knock him out and a lot of my fans want to see me knock him out. So that’s what I’m going to do. I have a surprise for Rigondeaux on Saturday night. He will maybe last three rounds. Don’t run!”
Rigondeaux (20-1 & 1 NC, 13 KOs), naturally, foresees a different outcome.
“All these jokers always talk a lot about making me retire, but they have to do it in the ring. Let’s see what you do on Saturday. I’m still right here,” said 40-year-old Cuban southpaw. “He’s knocked out six guys in a row, but none of them are in the same class as me. He’s going to have the devil in front of him on Saturday.”
Main image: Jon Riel Casimero. Photo: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime.