Donaire, Casimero set for historic all-Filipino bantamweight unification
WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. and his WBO counterpart and fellow Filipino John Riel Casimero

Donaire, Casimero set for historic all-Filipino bantamweight unification

Dino Maragay (Philstar.com) - June 20, 2021 - 3:52am

MANILA, Philippines – Newly minted WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. is set to clash with countryman Johnriel Casimero — who holds the WBO version of the crown — in a unification bout reportedly on August 14 in Carson, California (August 15, Manila time).

It will mark the first time in history that two Filipino world champions will unify titles against each other — a fight that is expected to bring fireworks given both Donaire and Casimero’s notable punching power.

The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger was the first to break the news, saying Donaire will replace Casimero’s original opponent, WBA champion Guillermo Rigondeux, who has reportedly agreed to step aside.

According to Coppinger, Rigondeux will then fight the winner. 

Donaire himself confirmed the news on his Twitter account Sunday morning.

Rachel Donaire, Nonito's wife who also acts as the boxer's manager, said the offer to unify with Casimero came from Sean Gibbons, president of Manny Pacquiao's MP Promotions, which handles Casimero.

"Nonito Donaire, you want some of this, it's here for you," Rachel quoted Gibbons as saying.

The 38-year-old Donaire (41-6, with 27 KOs) is still fresh from his massive victory over France’s Nordine Oubaali, dethroning him via fourth-round knockout in a vintage performance at the Dignity Health Sports Park also in Carson last May 30.

For his part, Casimero (30-4, with 21 KOs) hasn’t fought since stopping Ghana’s Duke Micah in three rounds to retain his title in September last year.

The Donaire-Casimero 118-pound showdown will reportedly be staged at the War Grounds in Carson and will take place the weekend before Pacquiao takes on Errol Spence Jr.

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