Earlier this month, WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire revealed that he was “finalizing” a December 11th clash with interim champion and mandatory challenger Reymart Gaballo. Now, the reliable Julius Julianis reports that the fight could serve as half of a Dubai doubleheader with John Riel Casimero vs. Paul Butler, which was already targeted for that date.
Don’t treat this as a setup for an impending unification fight, however; Julianis goes on to say that Naoya Inoue wants to face Casimero (31-4, 24 KO) in the “first quarter of 2022.” The pair were supposed to fight in April 2020 before the freshly rampaging coronavirus put a stop to that.
Not terribly surprising, really; Donaire (41-6, 27 KO) and Casimero only have these mandated matchups because their planned summer clash spectacularly imploded over drug testing concerns and social media beef. Still, these are better fights than Inoue vs. Dipaen, at least, and should leave everyone free to consolidate the belts next year without anymore mandatories breathing down their necks.