Johnriel Casimero vs Cesar Ramirez. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ALVIN GO

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero isn’t going to wait for Naoya Inoue anymore and will face Duke Micah instead on Sept. 26 at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.

Holed up in the US since February, Casimero has been waiting for Inoue since their unification bout, originally scheduled April 25 in Las Vegas, was scuttled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Casimero announced the development Monday on his YouTube channel.

Although he is taking on an opponent who is not on the same level as the Japanese champion, who holds the WBA (Super) and IBF titles, Casimero knows he can’t afford to let his guard down against the former Olympian Micah.

Like Inoue, Micah is undefeated and can pack a punch as well with 19 of his 24 wins coming by knockout.

“We’re going to prepare really well against him,” Casimero said in Filipino.

“[Micah] is also a good fighter. He’s a knockout artist and has a good record. He’s also young and tall,” added Casimero, who stands at 5-foot-4, three inches shorter than his Ghanaian foe.

Conquering a much taller opponent isn’t new to Casimero, who cut South African champion Zolani Tete down to size last November to win the WBO title in Birmingham.

The 30-year-old Casimero needed only three rounds to stop the 5-foot-9 Tete.


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