Inoue-Casimero Set For April Unification Bout
After signing with Top Rank, it was only a matter of time before “The Monster” was let loose. It was announced that Naoya Inoue will make his debut for the promotion on April 25 against John Riel Casimero.
The bout will be for Inoue’s WBA, IBF, and The Ring Bantamweight Titles, as well as Casimero’s WBO Bantamweight Title. The vacant lineal bantamweight title will be the ultimate prize, in a contest taking place inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“The ‘Monster’ is coming to Las Vegas, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He is a generational talent, a fierce competitor who is ready to take the United States by storm. Casimero is a seasoned champion, and Inoue knows he’s in for a firefight at Mandalay Bay.”
This will be Inoue’s (19-0) first fight since winning the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final back in November. He ended up beating Juan Carlos Payano via TKO, Emmanuel Rodriguez via TKO and Nonito Donaire in the finals via unanimous decision to claim the title. The last fight was considered the 2019 fight of the year. With 16 wins via KO, the 26-year-old is looking to make the most of his opportunity in a new atmosphere.
“It is a tremendous honor and a dream come true to headline a card in Las Vegas against a great fighter like Casimero,” Inoue said. “It is my goal to be the undisputed bantamweight king, and I am coming to America to put on a great fight for the fans. I would like to thank Mr. Bob Arum and MGM Resorts for making my Las Vegas dream a reality. Now, the work begins, and I will kick off my 2020 schedule at Mandalay Bay in devastating fashion.”
“The Monster” has been healing from a number of injuries he suffered in the bout against Donaire, including a fractured nose and orbital bone.
The WBO Bantamweight Champion, Casimero (29-4) is on a five-fight win streak. His last bout was a TKO-win over Zolani Tete back in November. Like Inoue, this will be Casimero’s second time fighting inside the United States.
“This is my dream fight. I have traveled the world and fought in 10 countries. I’ve won world titles at 108, 112 and 118 pounds,” Casimero said. “But ever since I saw my hero and fellow countryman, Senator Manny Pacquiao, fight in Las Vegas, that has been my dream. To everyone who thinks I am the underdog on April 25, I will shock the world and show the fans who the real ‘Monster’ is in the ring.”
Other fights on the ESPN+ produced card include:
– Joshua Greer Jr. v. Jason Moloney in a bantamweight bout featuring the top ranked fighters in the WBO.
“I’m extremely grateful for this big opportunity. Fighting in Las Vegas has been a dream of mine for many years, and I’m looking forward to having a very impressive win over Joshua Greer Jr. and moving another step closer to becoming world champion,” Moloney said. “April 25 is a very important day for us in Australia and New Zealand called Anzac Day. It is a day of remembrance, where we pay our respects to all those who have served and died for our beautiful country. I will do whatever it takes to win this fight, and I will dedicate this victory to all those who have served for us.”
– Former Super-Featherweight World Champion Andrew Cancio taking on Tyler McCreary. This will be Cancio’s (21-5-2) first bout since losing the WBA Title to Rene Alvarado back in November.
“It’s another big opportunity, something I couldn’t pass up,” McCreary said. “He’s (Cancio) a former world champion, but he’s no Carl Frampton. This is a steppingstone for bigger fights. I have to get past him to see the bigger names. I learned a lot from the Frampton fight, and that experience is the number one teacher for me.”