John Riel Casimero successfully defended his WBO bantamweight title a split decision win over Guillermo Rigondeaux on Saturday night at the Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA.
Rigondeaux at 40, isn’t the Rigondeaux we knew with memorable fights and style that wowed spectators all over the globe. Having done his due, Rigondeaux was reprimanded by everyone as Casimero was awarded the split victory by the Judges.
Daniel Sandoval (Calif.) scored 116-112 and Judge Robert Hoyle (Nev.) Scored 117-111 for Casimero while, Judge Tim Cheatham scored 115 – 113 for Rigondeaux.
“I’m excited to get the win,” said Casimero. “I was worried, because he said he wouldn’t run, but he ran the whole time … My expectations were for a knockout. Me and all my fans wanted that. I did my best to knock him out, but he was just running and not fighting.
Casimero was basically the aggressor throughout the fight and looked to make the fight a back and forth affair but Rigondeaux wasn’t in that bandwagon and will escape to safety ones he gets caught with a shot from Casimero. However, if he gets caught too fast for him to escape, he will settle for holding.
Rigondeaux was very fast and very attentive that dangerous hooks from Casimero couldn’t find their target as he kept swinging and missing in the opening round. However, two got connected but this time, drew a stern warning from the referee. Casimero in his blood thirst landed two punches at the back of Rigondeaux head.
Rigondeaux sat back and moved in retreat while looking for counters as Casimero forged forward in the second round but this was all to no avail. However, it ignited the boos from the spectators, who expected Rigondeaux to engage in a back and forth affair.
By the third round, things got do frustrating for Casimero that President of Manny Pacquiao promotions Sean Gibbons was up in his feets screaming “Stop Running” and that was also echoes by the crowd. However, Rigondeaux style isn’t new as he is know for his boring antics in high profile fights.
Casimero endured a pitiful ordeal as he ran around in his highest speed trying to catch Rigondeaux for six rounds and was able to connect two but Rigondeaux flicked back was an illegal one, which drew a warning from the referee.
Casimero, was at one point in the seventh round frustrated that he stood in the ring gesturing for a fight from Rigondeaux, who quickly chipped in a body shot and escaped as Casimero quickly surged forward like a bull with Red in his eyes. The eight and the ninth rounds were more of the same as Rigondeaux capitalised on Casimero’s openings during the charge forward.
Rigondeaux had 10 punches in the 10th round, the most for a round since the start of the fight, whole Casimero has only been able to land five at most, which he did Successfully in the fifth and ninth rounds.
The 12th round was filled with boos from the spectators and Gibbons shouting at the top of his voice. Casimero kept his charge going and looked fresher but Rigondeaux kept a smiley face, probably thinking he was ahead but Casimero was awarded the win.
With the win, Casimero successfully defended his WBO Bantamweight title, which he won with a win over Zolani Tete in 2019. Casimero then revealed his plans to face WBC champion Nonito Donaire and unified titlist Naoya Inoue before any other plans.
“I had a three-fight plan. First was Rigondeaux, and I beat him. Next is Nonito Donaire and then finally Naoya Inoue,” said Casimero’s
The fight between Guillermo Rigondeaux and John Riel Casimero was first announced then Nonito Donaire won his last fight by knockout. This made the sanctioning body call for a fight between Casimero and Donaire but after a rift between the two and Donaire’s pull out due to injury, Rigondeaux was brought back to 5h Showtime main event.
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