Is A Naoya Inoue-John Riel Casimero Fight In Jeopardy?

A big Top Rank fight may be in jeopardy due to a disagreement in pay.

ESPN is reporting that a bantamweight unification fight between John Riel Casimero Naoya Inoue could not end up happening. Inoue, the IBF and WBA Bantamweight Champion, is set to enter the United States in the next few days. He is looking for both confirmation to enter and a potential new opponent. The WBO Bantamweight Champion in Casimero (29-4) does not want to risk a pay decrease at this point in his career.

“Again, we talked to Casimero about a purse when the good times were rolling, and when Japanese high rollers were going to come in and watch the fight, and we could get enough money from the hotel casino to allow us to do it — that’s gone now,” Arum stated

“We have to talk to Casimero, is he willing to take a reduction like Inoue is? If the answer is no, then we can put Jason Moloney in with Inoue, which may be an even better fight.”

Inoue (19-0) made his professional debut in 2012. In his fourth fight, he won the Japanese Light-Flyweight Title, eventually winning the WBC Light-Flyweight Title in 2014. He would then fight at bantamweight, winning the WBO Junior-Bantamweight and WBA Bantamweight Titles. “The Monster” became IBF and WBA Bantamweight Champion by winning the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Tournament finals.

Casimero (29-4) is on a five-fight win streak. His last bout was a TKO-win over Zolani Tete back in November. Once Inoue signed with Top Rank the two were set to face one another on April 25. Due to the coronavirus, however, the WBO postponed all sanctioned fights through June.

In the United States since March, Casimero has been waiting on Inoue. If he can enter the United States, and a fair deal can be produced, Casimero might end up listening to Arum.

“We’re just waiting for Inoue to get here first, before we make any decisions on reductions, or anything happening,” representative Sean Gibbons stated. “The guy’s not even in the country, we’ve been waiting four months for him to arrive. So let’s see the guy physically in the country, and then we’ll make some decisions on which way to go.

“Last I checked [Arum] was waiting for minimal amount of fans, similar to the [Teofimo] Lopez-[Vasiliy] Lomachenko fight. That’s where he left it, so let’s see the ‘Monster’ get in the country, and some decisions will be made quickly.”

It appears that Casimero is not alone when it comes to pay. Terence Crawford has stated he wouldn’t fight if there was a pay cut required.

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