World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero believes he will be the one to hand the retirement papers of Cuban legend and reigning World Boxing Association ruler Guillermo Rigondeaux on 14 August in the United States.
“He had his time and now is my time,” said Casimero, who swears the southpaw Rigondeaux will be in for a shock come fight night.
Though admitting that Rigondeaux is a very technical fighter, age has slowed him down a bit and the Filipino banger insists he will send his fancied foe into retirement.
“I know how good he is and you can only look at his amateur accomplishments to know how great he is,” the 31-year-old Casimero, who is nine years younger, said.
Before turning professional, Rigondeaux made it a habit to win every major amateur tournament he participated in.
He is a gold medalist in the Sydney and Athens Olympics, two-time world championships gold medalist, three-time World Cup titleholder, Pan-American topnotcher, Central American and Caribbean boss and seven-time Cuban national kingpin.
“But he’s no longer that quick and it won’t be difficult to hit him and then retire him,” Casimero said upon his arrival in Manila yesterday from his Leyte home.
The Casimero-Rigondeaux clash will have two world title straps at stake and the Filipino hard-hitter feels that when the mushroom cloud dissipates, he would emerge triumphant and proud.
Casimero holds a 30-4-1 win-loss-draw slate with 21 knockouts while Rigondeaux totes a 20-1-1 with 13 knockouts.
While waiting for the go-signal to fly to America, Casimero will train exclusively at the Glenford Boxing Gym in Taguig.
Last year, Casimero spent almost ten months in Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas as the coronavirus pandemic raged on.
Last time he fought, Casimero bludgeoned previously unbeaten Ghanaian Duke Micah in Uncasville, Connecticut, in October 2020 for the first defense of the WBO 118-lb crown.