Casimero’s comeback set

John Riel Casimero will end a 16-month layoff on 3 December when he battles tough Japanese Ryo Akaho in a ten-round bout in Incheon, Korea.

His much-awaited ring return will be at super-bantamweight (122 lbs) as he has outgrown bantamweight (118 lbs) after experiencing heavy weighty issues.

Last time he fought, Casimero beat Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux in August 2021 in Carson, California.

He was supposed to make a mandatory defense against Paul Butler in Dubai in December of the same year but the fight was scrapped after Casimero went down with gastritis moments before the weighin.

The bout was rescheduled last April in Butler’s home turf of Liverpool but Casimero violated a strict rule relative to the weight, compelling British authorities to prevent the Filipino from competing.

Barring any major issues, the Akaho clash will be the 32-year-old Casimero’s first outing since the lackluster Rigondeaux victory.

Casimero was twice on the cusp of superstardom.

In 2020, he was supposed to collide with Naoya Inoue in Las Vegas but the mouthwatering matchup was shelved owing to Covid-19.

Efforts to revisit that match wasn’t pursued anymore as Casimero took a different route and Inoue likewise did the same thing.

Last year, Casimero and Nonito Donaire were already booked to trade power punches but just a week after the fight was officially announced, Donaire withdrew owing to Casimero’s alleged unprofessionalism.

Despite going up in weight, Casimero can still end up tangling with Inoue given that the unbeaten puncher’s plan is to leave bantam and invade super-bantam due to the lack of major challenges.

It seems that the two heavenly bodies remain on a collision course.

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