A busy Day 1 at the 32nd WBO Convention in Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan – The 32nd annual WBO convention officially began yesterday at the luxurious Tokyo Dome Hotel with the first day packed with meetings and other activities.

The Executive Meeting took off with the President’s Report, Treasurer’s Report, Championship Committee Report, Grievance Committee Report, and annual presentations given by the regional directors of the WBO Latino, WBO International, WBO Europe, WBO Inter-Continental, WBO Global, WBO Asia Pacific, WBO Africa, WBO China Zone and NABO.

On safety issues, the priority of this convention:

“The doctors in the ring have to be prepared for the possibility of a fighter being seriously injured, including the possibility of brain damage. Sometimes the supervisors don’t know about medical procedures and doctor specialized care for these situations”, WBO President Francisco Valcárcel, Esq, said. “Supervisors should work to enforce our rules. Sometimes the doctor is a general practitioner. Sometimes they don’t know or ask about the distance from the fight venue to the hospital or if the hospital have a neurologist or neurosurgeon available that night. Not everybody can be a supervisor or a doctor in a boxing match.”

“If you’re dealing with boxing, the best doctor to work a fight should be a neurologist or neurosurgeon,” Valcárcel added.

WBO Legal Advisor Andre Horn stated: “It’s clear we are not here to run the show in a boxing event but to enforce the WBO rules. We want to protect not only the WBO fighters but all fighters. We are all brothers.”

At the end of the session, the Japanese press interviewed Valcárcel and asked about a possible bout between Japanese star and Bantamweight World Champion Naoya Inoue and newly crowned WBO Bantamweight World Champion Johnriel Casimero, of the Philippines.

“We have been working on that fight. Inoue got a contract to fight in America with Top Rank. Manny Pacquiao is Casimero’s promoter. He’s very close to WBO too. Before the fight between Tete and Casimero, I talked to Casimero’s team, Frank Warren, Team Tete, Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao to make the unification fight with Inoue possible early next year. Inoue is in an elite position and needs elite fights. And I can assure you that if something happened during this convention, I can give you the date of the fight this week. Carl Moretti, VP of Top Rank, and Sean Gibbons, representing Casimero’s team are here in Tokyo. For sure they will start a conversation for that fight. It will be a tough fight for both. We are talking about two elite fighters.”

The night concluded with a Welcome Cocktail Party for all members and participants at MLB CAFÉ (Tokyo Dome City).

Photos by Robert Richard / WBO

Scheduled six-fight ESPN+ stream set to begin at 2 pm ET/11 am PT

In a magnificent world title fight South Africa’s Zolani Tete (28-3, 21KOs) risks his WBO bantamweight title against Filipino interim WBO champion John Riel Casimero (28-4, 19KOs) where the winner will be likely to face IBF and WBA title holder Naoya Inoue in 2020.

Liverpool puncher Sam Maxwell (12-0 (10KOs) defends his WBO European super lightweight crown against unbeaten Connor Parker (12-0, 1KO) from Derbyshire.

Here are a selection of quotes from today’s press conference


“I have been out injured because of shoulder tendonitis, but the way I have been training it shouldn’t bother me. I didn’t need surgery, but it took a couple of months to get it right. Mentally and physically I am still there and the injury will not stand in my way. It was frustrating getting injured in the World Boxing Super Series and pulling out, but Casimero is one of the best.

Hopefully after this defence my next fight will be Naoya Inoue. If I beat Casimero that fight is a step closer. It is possible to meet Inoue next year.

My promoter Mr Frank Warren will do his best to make the fight happen. My shoulder will not come off, but you will see punches bouncing off Casimero’s head. He is a good fighter though who can come forward and has power, but we will deal with those things.


“This is a good fight and I will give a good performance. My advantage is power and stamina. My promoter Manny Pacquiao had told me that if I’ve worked hard I can win. This is my second time boxing here and in the first fight Charlie Edwards was beaten. I am a better fighter now. Zolani is a good boxer and tough, but second to me. I will do my best to knock him out.”


SEAN GIBBONS (President, Manny Pacquiao Promotions)

“To have Senator Manny Pacquiao behind you tells you how good Casimero is. The Senator can sign a lot of fighters, but only goes with good ones. Casimero has travelled the world and feels comfortable here. He is one of the top three or four fighters in the Philippines.”

Boxing legend and Senator Manny Pacquiao returns to the Philippines on August 24 as he takes a timeout from breaking records inside the ring to promote a world title bout.

‘Pacman’ who delivered a stunning performance against the previously undefeated Keith Thurman in July, is staging the fight under MP Promotions alongside Sean Gibbons.

The welterweight titleholder will host a mouth-watering showdown between two-division king John Riel Casimero and Mexico’s Cesar Ramirez in Manila.

The Filipino won the WBO Interim Bantamweight strap in his most recent fight after inflicting a KO defeat to Ricardo Espinoza. Casimero, a fellow compatriot of Pacquiao, knows a victory will see him become mandatory challenger to WBO titlist Zolani Teti. ‘Quadro Alas’ has won three successive contests since returning to the ring in 2018. He has won IBF world titles at light-flyweight and flyweight, respectively.

The 29-year-old started preparation with eight-weight ruler Pacquiao in LA. He is currently training at the MP Stable in Davao City under Nonoy Neri. Casimero aims to continue his charge on the bantamweight division. He faces a stern test in Ramirez, though, who is ranked inside the top 10 of the WBO rankings. Since tasting defeat to former unified world champion Ryan Burnett, the Mexican is on a six-fight winning streak, with five inside the distance.

The Manny Pacquiao Championship Boxing event will see another intriguing duel at 118lbs as Vincent Astrolabio takes on Kevin Aseniero. The bout is an all-Filipino battle for the WBO Oriental belt in the co-feature of the evening. This is a show not to miss and it all goes down on August 24 at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila on August 24.

Via worldboxingnews.com

Earlier this week British TV channel Boxnation announced that they would be broadcasting the upcoming WBO “interim” Bantamweight title fight between champion John Riel Casimero (27-4, 18) and Mexican challenger Cesar Ramirez (18-3, 11), live from the Philippines.

The bout is one of the very few Asian shows the channel has picked up, which is disappointing from the “Home of Champions”, but it’s better late than never.

The bout will be Casimero’s first defense of the title he won earlier this year, when he stopped Ricardo Espinoza Franco in the final round of a very close bout, and will see him seeking a 4th straight T/KO win, as he’s rebuilt wonderful from his disappointing 2017 loss to Jonas Sultan. On the other hand this will be Ramirez’s first “world” title bout, and see him hunting a 7th straight win.

​Interestingly both fighters have previously fought in the UK, where Boxnation are based. Ramirez fought against Ryan Burnett in 2016, being dropped in the 8th round before losing a very wide decision to the Northern Irishman. Casimero’s UK bout was also in 2016, when he stopped Charlie Edwards in 10 rounds to retain the IBF Flyweight title. It’s also worth noting that the winner will have a fight with Zolani Tete lined up, someone who is promoted by the UK’s Frank Warren, and that bout could well end up in Britain as well.

Via asianboxing.info

Filipino Johnriel Casimero claimed a 12th round stoppage of Ricardo Espinoza on Saturday in Carson, California (Sunday in Manila) to win the interim WBO bantamweight championship.

The 30-year-old Casimero was fighting on US soil for the first time, and was making his debut at the bantamweight division as well.

He landed solid punches and slowed down his bigger opponent throughout the match, eventually registering a knockdown in the sixth round.

Casimero scored another knockdown to begin the 12th, after forcing Espinoza to his knees with a barrage of punches. The referee finally called the fight 44 seconds into the final round, after Casimero swooped in to finish off the Mexican.


VIA https://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/04/21/19/boxing-casimero-stops-espinoza-to-win-interim-wbo-belt