By JONAS TERRADO
As much as he wants to face Naoya Inoue in a title unification bout, WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero knows that playing the waiting game also has its limits.
That is why Casimero, coming off a dominating win over Duke Micah last Sunday in the United States, already has plans of moving up to super bantamweight and challenge WBC holder Luis Nery in the event a fight with Inoue won’t push through.
Nery scored a unanimous decision win over fellow Mexican Aaron Alameda to claim the vacant belt. Both Casimero and Nery were in the undercard of Jermall Charlo’s WBC middleweight title victory opposite Sergiy Derevyanchenko in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Though the 39-year-old Cuban Guillermo Rigodeaux, the WBA bantamweight champion, is also being floated, Casimero is more leaning towards Nery.
“Kung ayaw talaga ni Naoya Inoue lumaban sa akin, aakyat ako kay Luis Nery para magiging four division tayo,” Casimero said during Tuesday’s online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
Casimero once again called out Inoue shortly after his third round TKO of Micah with profanities that ended with the Filipino describing the WBA and IBF champion as a “Japanese turtle.”
The flamboyant 30-year-old said the chance of having all three belts is something he wants to pursue, which is why Casimero continues to put Inoue on notice.
Both fighters were supposed to slug it out last April 25 but got postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic. Inoue eventually selected Jason Moloney as his next opponent slated for Oct. 31 in Las Vegas.
“Pangarap ko talaga unification pero kung takbo siya, wala na tayo magagawa diyan,” said Casimero.
“Sabi ko sa kanila walang monster na takot, hindi monster yan. That’s a Japanese turtle, not a monster,” he added.
Casimero is set to return to his hometown of Ormoc in the second week of October after spending close to a year in the US while waiting on what’s next on the horizon.