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John Riel Casimero stripped of WBO bantamweight title


John Riel Casimero Guillermo Rigondeaxu

FILE–John Riel Casimero —AFP

MANILA, Philippines—John Riel Casimero’s days as world champion are over.

The World Boxing Organization has stripped the embattled Filipino of his WBO bantamweight world title.

“The Committee unanimously recommended to the WBO Executive Committee to strip John Riel Casimero’s WBO World Bantamweight Championship Title for failure to comply with the conditions set forth in its ‘Resolution,’” the WBO announced Wednesday (Manila time) as stated in the Championship Committee’s resolution.

“The WBO Executive Committee unanimously voted in favor of adopting the WBO Championship Committee’s recommendation and therefore declares the WBO Bantamweight Championship Title “Vacant.”

Casimero failed to defend his WBO belt twice against mandatory challenger Paul Butler.

The two were originally scheduled to meet last December but Casimero was a no-show during the official weigh-in, citing gastritis.

Casimero was given another chance to defend his crown against Butler in April in Liverpool, England but he broke strict medical policy by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) for using a sauna to cut down weight before a fight.

Another Filipino in Jonas Sultan was tapped to replace Casimero against Butler in an interim title bout. Butler won by unanimous decision.

As part of its resolution, the WBO also elevated Butler from interim champion to “full champion status” while Casimero was installed as the number one contender.

Casimero, a three-division champion, claimed the WBO bantamweight crown after stopping Zolani Tete in the third round in November 2019.

He was able to successfully defend it twice—demolishing Duke Micah in three rounds in September 2020 before clipping former world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux last August.

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