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John Riel Casimero hopes Guillermo Rigondeaux comes to fight


Guillermo Rigondeaux has always been a safety-first boxing savant who relies on skill over power.

That changed a bit in his recent fights, in which the 40-year-old Cuban has been willing at times to stand his ground and exchange punches with his opponents.

WBO bantamweight titleholder John Riel Casimero hopes the latter Rigondeaux shows up when they fight Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. (Showtime).

If Rigondeaux refuses to engage, Casimero’s task could be difficult and the fight might be boring. If he trades shots with the champ, he opens himself up to danger.

I know that I can make this an easy fight for myself,” Casimero said. “I want him to have some guts and be the exciting fighter he’s shown recently. It will be better for the fans and it will really prove who is the best.”

Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) has already proved a great deal. The Filipino has won world titles in three divisions, making him one of top little men in the sport.

And he’s on a roll. He has won six consecutive fights — all by knockout — since he lost a decision to Jonas Sultan in a title eliminator in 2017. He last fought in September, when he stopped Duke Micah in three rounds.

A victory over the well-regarded Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KOs) would further enhance his reputation and set up even bigger fights, perhaps against countryman and WBC 118-pound champ Nonito Donaire.

“I want to show that I’m strong and can beat any tough opponent,” Casimero said. “A win over Rigondeaux will solidify me as one of, if not the best, fighter in the bantamweight division.

“My goal is to take care of business on Saturday night, then go after the scared Nonito Donaire.”





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