John Riel Casimero Stripped Of WBO Bantamweight Title, Paul Butler Becomes New ‘Full’ Champ
John Riel Casimero’s bantamweight title run has ended, but it wasn’t the result of a fight.
It was the result of a lack of fights. The WBO unanimously voted to strip Casimero of his WBO bantamweight title after failing to defend his title for the second time.
Paul Butler, who Casimero was scheduled to fight in December and then in April, has been given the belt instead.
“WBO Interim Bantamweight Champion Paul Butler is elevated from Interim Champion to ‘Full Champion Status.’
“The WBO World Championship Committee recommends to the WBO Ratings Committee that John Riel Casimero be rated at the number one (1) position in the WBO Bantamweight Ratings and subject to complying with the applicable rating criteria,” WBO Championship Committee chairman Luis Batista-Salas said in a ten-page ruling, obtained by Boxing Scene.
Casimero was set to face Butler on April 22 in Liverpool, England, but the Filipino boxer was caught using a sauna ahead of the fight – which is forbidden during fight week in the UK – and was flagged for drastic weight loss.
Butler instead fought late replacement Jonas Sultan. He won via pointed over twelve rounds and claimed interim WBO bantamweight champion status before being elevated on Tuesday.
Butler was due to fight Casimero back on December 11 in Dubai, but the fight was canceled after Casimero failed to show up for the weigh-in. He later submitted proof that he was in the hospital with gastritis.
Casimero’s manager, Egis Klimas, will reportedly appeal the ruling.
“This is insane and completely BS, someone here has to put dirty hands on this,” Klimas tweeted. “First time I am ever seeing fighter being stripped because of using sauna. What’s next???
“But let me dig little deeper into this, maybe we will find out something fishy or stinky to this story.”