With the biggest fight of his career falling through, Filipino slugger John Riel Casimero will have to settle for a title defense against an untested Ghanaian on Sept. 26 in Connecticut.

Training in the United States since February for a unification bout against Japanese star Naoya Inoue, Casimero was looking at a big stage fight that will get his name on the marquee.

Casimero was set to fight knockout artist Inoue in what was dubbed the “battle of the best bantamweights” set for April 25 in Las Vegas.

But Inoue’s camp backed out, citing the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Casimero all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Ironically, Inoue has scheduled a fight of his own, facing Jason Moloney on Oct. 31 in the MGM Grand “bubble,” which has been putting out fights throughout the quarantine.

So, Casimero, a certified journeyman known for his gritty style and big fighting heart, will have to deal with Duke Micah at Mohegan Sun Casino.

At 29-4-0 with 20 knockouts, the 31-year-old Casimero will be giving up three inches to the 5-foot-7 Micah (24-0-0), who is also three years younger than the Filipino.

Casimero, the World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion, will fight with former world champ Clarence “Bones” Adams in his corner alongside longtime buddy Stephen Lucas.

He set up camp in Miami early in February hoping to get into shape and claim the versions of the title from Inoue, who holds the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association belts.Inoue’s last fight was a brutal win over another Filipino, Nonito Donaire, last November.

Pundits now feel Inoue may not be ready to face another hard-hitter like Casimero, who won his last five fights via stoppage. INQ

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