Donaire withdraws from Casimero clash: ‘He will not get the pay day’

WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire insists he is pulling out of his unification fight with WBO title holder and fellow Filipino John Riel Casimero on August 14 following concerns about drug testing and misogynistic abuse aimed at his wife and manager Rachel.

The principled Donaire, a staunch advocate of drug testing who has been enrolled in VADA 24-7 testing since its inception almost 10 years ago at his own expense, says he finds the online abuse of his wife by a member of Casimero’s team unacceptable and, allied with a dispute about the nature of drug testing for the unification bout, enough is enough.

“I am known to take stands people are afraid to take,” said Donaire in a statement released on social media on Tuesday night. “I STAND for VADA 24/7/365 testing for ALL boxers. This should never be refused or delayed. I stand against BULLYING in any form. I STAND against the disrespect and ABUSE of women and children physically, mentally and emotionally. AND I STAND against misogynistic culture.

The dispute stems from a delay in Casimero filing paperwork to submit to random drug testing as contracted through VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency). When wife, manager and trainer Rachel Donaire urged Casimero to comply she was criticised in an unacceptable manner in the view of her husband.

Team Casimero had maintained their fighter has always been enrolled in a drug testing initiative, citing the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program which randomly tests a selection of fighters on a monthly basis. That testing is, of course, not as stringent as enrolment in the VADA programme. But VADA ultimately received paperwork from Casimero five days after Donaire at the weekend.

Showtime, who were supposed to be broadcasting the fight in the US, thought that meant Donaire-Casimero was back on, but the WBC champion’s declaration last night insists otherwise.

“A grown man recently told the mother of my boys to ‘snack on his —-‘. We cannot ignore this unprofessional behaviour,” continued Donaire in his statement. “We cannot excuse the disgusting trolling memes created of my wife as ‘just for entertainment’. I don’t want other pro athletes to cross this line and think this type of behaviour is acceptable. We have to maintain a respectable character, especially online, for the future generations to emulate, and not promote ignorance and foul behaviour. 

“For the boxing culture to change, promoters and networks should veer away from unacceptable behaviour and not encourage it. That being said, as we’ve stated before, we cancelled this fight when they delayed turning in the VADA paperwork for 5 days. We have proof that the opposing side was neither honest nor forthcoming in providing the proper information to begin VADA drug testing. AFTER we cancelled the fight, then and only then did the paperwork suddenly appear. I do what I say. And as much as I want to knock him out, I’m going to take the high road and instead of highlighting his misbehaviours, I’m not going to give his example the stage or the payday that comes with it.”