John Riel Casimero still wants Inoue, Nery after Micah bout

FILE – John Riel Casimero works the mitts with Cuban trainer Pedro Roque. Photo from Team Casimero

MANILA, Philippines — John Riel Casimero has moved on from Naoya Inoue now, at least until he’s done defending his WBO bantamweight title against Duke Micah of Ghana on Sept. 26 in Connecticut.

Casimero was originally set for a title unification bout against Inoue last April in Las Vegas before the coronavirus pandemic happened.

After months of waiting, the fight was never rescheduled and Casimero decided to go for Micah (24-0 19 KOs) instead rather than being idle.

Casimero, though, still remains open to fighting Inoue and possibly a showdown against another undefeated fighter and former bantamweight champion in Luis Nery, who has moved up to 122 pounds.

“[After] I’ve finished this guy (Micah), I’m ready for another opponent. Maybe Inoue or maybe Luis Nery,” Casimero 29-4, 20 KOs) said during a kickoff virtual press conference Tuesday.

Casimero and his camp have repeatedly called out Inoue and Top Rank for running away from the fight.

Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) is likely to defend his IBF and WBA (Super) bantamweight belts against Jason Moloney of Australia on Oct. 31, as per

Nery (30-0, 24 KOs), meanwhile, is fighting on the same card as Casimero, taking on fellow Mexican Aaron Alameda for the vacant WBC super bantamweight crown.

“One by one, we’re going to finish them all,” Casimero said in Filipino.

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To restart its season, PFL also to have ‘bubble’

MANILA, Philippines–The Philippines Football League is exploring the possibility of setting up a bubble environment as one of the two options for its planned start to the 2020 season at PFF National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite.

Speaking at the PSA Forum webcast on Tuesday, PFL commissioner Coco Torre bared the league’s plans to hold at least a shortened competition kicking off in October.

Torre admitted that the bubble setup is feasible for the PFL as there are hotels surrounding the match venue in Carmona. But the youthful league chief said they also have to consider the costs for mounting the bubble.

“There are two options,” said Torre. “We can go in the bubble for a month or battle COVID-19 through frequent testing.”

Araneta said the PFF can help augment the league’s expenses, which they can source out from the FIFA’s COVID-19 aid to member associations.

“We will try our best to bring back football hopefully in a month’s time,” said Araneta, who secured a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Qatar Airways for the PFL early this year. Part of the sponsorship agreement is to have matches on television, Araneta said.

Torre said the PFL can also pour its resources on more testing for players while the season is ongoing.

Three of the five PFL clubs are set to train Wednesday with the league hoping to get approval from the Inter Agency Task Force for a restart within the month.

United City Football Club, Kaya, and Stallion are the first clubs to return to the field. The Azkals Development Team and Mendiola FC are also seeing action this season, while newcomer Maharlika is looking to secure its professional license on Wednesday.

Torre is urging teams to practice “due diligence” in hopes of finally bringing the action back. “Cooperation is vital on

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Micah aims to make most of first world title shot vs Casimero

FILE — Duke Micah of Ghana works out at at Gleason’s Gym on December 04, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  Emilee Chinn/Getty Images/AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Duke Micah is not planning on wasting a chance of a lifetime that came unexpectedly.

Micah is set to challenge John Riel Casimero for the WBO bantamweight belt on Sept. 26 in Connecticut, a fight that wasn’t originally part of the Filipino champion’s schedule.

But nonetheless, Micah wants to make the most out of the opportunity.

“This is my dream. This is what I have been looking for. This is what I’m fighting for,” Micah said during the virtual kickoff press conference posted on YouTube channel Fight Hub TV.

The undefeated Ghanian said he’s been preparing well for his first world title shot and is wary of Casimero’s abilities.

“Training [has been] fantastic. We’ve been training very well for this fight. We know Casimero is a very good boxer.”

Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) was supposed to fight unbeaten Japanese champion Naoya Inoue last April in Las Vegas before the unification bout got postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 30-year-old Casimero, who has been holed up in the US since February, waited for Inoue fight to be rescheduled but it never did, prompting his camp to look for a different opponent.

“I know my opponent is a good fighter. He’s undefeated,” Casimero said.

Micah, who turns 29 this month, may not be on the same level as Inoue but the London Olympian has an impressive record to show with 19 of his 24 wins coming by knockout.

“You have to fight the best to be the best. I’m bringing the title back to Ghana.”

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