By CARLO ANOLIN
The much-awaited all-Filipino showdown between WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero and WBC titleholder Nonito Donaire will have to wait a little longer.
That’s because the WBO has ordered Casimero to fight English boxer Paul Butler for his mandatory title defense.
Both camps are already in talks for negotiations as announced by WBO Championship Committee chairman Luis Batista-Salas.
“Please be advised that the parties have twenty (20) days upon receipt of this letter to reach an agreement,” said Basista-Salas in a letter obtained by BoxingScene. “If an accord is not reached within the time frame set forth herein, a Purse Bid will be ordered pursuant to WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.”
The final date for the Casimero-Butler bout, however, has yet to be announced.
The same goes for Donaire as the WBC, for his part, ordered him to face interim world titleholder and compatriot Reymart Gaballo earlier this week.
While Casimero and Donaire already made amends with each other, it wasn’t the situation they were expecting to come in the next coming weeks.
Both Casimero and Donaire already expressed desire to face each other while another hurdle in the bantamweight division is also a given through the presence of undefeated Japanese icon Naoya Inoue, who owns the super WBA, the IBF, and The Ring bantamweight titles.
The 31-year-old Casimero (31-4, 21 knockouts), who hails from Ormoc, Leyte, is fresh from a split decision victory against Cuban foe Guillermo Rigondeaux last month while Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) captured the WBC title with a fourth-round knockout win against Frenchman Nordine Oubaali in May.
Inoue, for his part, remained unscathed in 21 matches – his latest win came at the expense of Filipino boxer Michael Dasmariñas whom he knocked out in the third round.
A former IBF bantamweight champion, Butler has been on a roll, winning his previous seven bouts the latest was a split decision win against Willibaldo Garcia of Mexico in June for the vacant WBO International bantamweight title. That win propelled him to become the top contender against the Ormoc-native pugilist.