Ancajas, Casimero title fights postponed due to virus threat
Jerwin Ancajas and John Riel Casimero

Ancajas, Casimero title fights postponed due to virus threat

Dino Maragay (Philstar.com) - March 17, 2020 - 1:36pm

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino world titlists Jerwin Ancajas and John Riel Casimero will have to wait a little longer to return to action after their promoter Top Rank Inc. postponed their upcoming fights because of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Top Rank on Tuesday announced the postponement of all their boxing events scheduled for March and April due to the virus scare. 

"The health and safety of our fighters, staff and ESPN's incredible production team is the most important thing as we plan our next steps,” Top Rank boss Bob Arum said in a statement.

Both Ancajas and Casimero have fights lined up in April.

Ancajas, the reigning International Boxing Federation (IFB) super flyweight champion, was supposed to defend his title at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on April 11 (April 12, Manila time) against Jonathan Rodriguez of Mexico.

For his part, Casimero was scheduled to unify his World Boxing Organization bantamweight championship in a massive showdown with Japanese star Naoya Inoue — who holds the IBF and World Boxing Association versions of the title — at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on April 25 (April 26 in Manila).

Ancajas (32-1, 22 KOs) last saw action last December, stopping Mexico’s Miguel Gonzalez in his eighth title defense. Meanwhile, Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) is coming off a similarly impressive win over South African Zolani Tete, whom he knocked out in the third round of their showdown in November last year.

The two Filipino pugs belong to Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions, which is co-promoting them with Top Rank.

Top Rank previously mulled holding the fights behind closed doors.

Now, the bouts are a no go for now.

"We look forward to the day when we can bring our loyal fans world-class boxing again, but exercising caution is the most prudent thing to do at this moment," said Arum.

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