Is it just another excuse? Or has Nonito Donaire had enough of John Riel Casimero antics?
The scheduled title unification showdown between Filipino protagonists John Riel Casimero and Nonito Donaire took an ugly turn as the latter called the fight off, citing Casimero’s gross acts of disrespect.
While a word war raged on social media between the two camps, the bone of contention was the demand by Donaire’s wife-manager-trainer for Casimero to enlist with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, the most respected institution for anti-doping in America.
Donaire’s camp insisted the fight won’t happen unless Casimero agrees to a doping test. Although Casimero’s promoter, Sean Gibbons, and World Boxing Council boss Mauricio Sulaiman already said that Casimero was already enrolled with the VADA program, the Donaires still demanded more proof.
Then on Sunday (Philippine time), VADA’s official tweeter page announced that indeed, Casimero and Donaire, are enrolled with VADA. That would mean they will undergo doping tests ahead of their scheduled fight on Aug. 14 in the United States.
Just as when most people thought that the All-Filipino bantamweight faceoff to unify Casimero’s World Boxing Organization and the Donaire’s WBC championship belts was finally on, the Donaire couple dropped another bomb.
They are calling the off the fight.
In a lengthy interview by noted sportscasters Quinito Henson and Dyan Castillejo on playitrightTV page, Rachel confirmed that there were already contracts signed for the unification bout.
But even as Casimero has already complied with the demand for the VADA test, this time the Donaires are demanding for an apology from Casimero’s camp.
“I’m at a point where I don’t need all this stuff, it’s gonna be my rules or get the heck out of it. First, he disrespected me my family, my kids, my wife. For what reason that you have. Again, I’m the one who made this fight happen, not them,” said Nonito.
“If the fight is gonna go through, definitely an apology (by Casimero), to my wife, to my team for the disrespect (is needed). We’re Filipinos, we’re supposed to encourage each other and may the best man win, instead of putting us down. And I don’t like that. We’re becoming a circus, I’m not all about that,” he continued.
Make no mistake about it, though. Nonito says he wanted the fight. “Then everything happened.”
Casimero is known for his frankness. He does not mince words when asked about what he thinks or feels about his opponents, whether he’s asked or not.
Not long after news broke out that Casimero will be facing Donaire instead of Guillermo Rigondeaux, the word war between Casimero and Donaire’s camps began on social media. Claims like Casimero was snubbed by Donaire for a photo op, that the latter refused to spar with the former and stuff like these, circulated on social media.
Then Rachel raised the dope-testing issue. Netizens from both sides feasted on the the issue. Some claim that Donaire is making it difficult for Casimero because he’s afraid to fight, after realizing how big a gamble it is to fight someone like him just to get another crack at Japanese monster Naoya Inoue, who is acknowledged as the top bantamweight in the world today.
A loss by Donaire would give Casimero all the right to face Inoue. And that the Donaire-Inoue 2 will have to wait a little longer, or none at all.
It looked as though Casimero, in his frantic effort to sell the fight, has gone overboard. It has irritated Donaire, who is not a believer of trash-talking, something that boxing Manny Pacquiao has endured many times. Pacquiao did not quit when his opponents tried to get his goat by employing disdainful tactics that border on disrespect. Instead, he shrugs his shoulder and let his fists do the talking on the ring.
But in this case, Donaire may have felt the social media attacks have become so personal that he’d rather cancel the fight and let everyone lose.
But then again, if Casimero wants the fight badly, he has to play by Donaire’s rules—for now. And all that is needed is a public apology.