By Nick Giongco
Japanese bomber Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue swears he know his Filipino rival and fellow three-division titleholder John Riel Casimero by heart.
In fact, Inoue sums up Casimero in four ways: Aggressive. Hard-punching. Dangerous. Wild.
Inoue, holder of the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation bantamweight titles, meets Casimero, ruler of the World Boxing Organization crown, on April 25 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
During a press conference in Tokyo, Inoue expressed his readiness to collide with his second straight Filipino foe in Casimero as he is coming off a savage outing against Nonito Donaire late last year.
In fact, Inoue has commenced a crucial stage of his buildup for the unification duel with Casimero, telling the Japanese media that he is already started sparring.
Even though he suffered a fractured orbital bone against Donaire, who he beat in a thrilling encounter, Inoue revealed that it has healed completely.
Inoue (19-0 with 16 KOs) is favored against Casimero (29-4 with 20 KOs) but admits he is up against a livewire opponent.
Casimero became the WBO king four weeks after Inoue’s rousing victory over Donaire when he battered the rangy and heavy-handed South African Zolani Tete in three rounds in Birmingham, England.
Prior to his destruction of Tete, Casimero captured world titles at light-fly (108 lbs) and fly (112 lbs).
For Inoue, beating Casimero would be a landmark moment for Japanese boxing as it would make him the first Japanese to hold three title belts at the same time.
To prime up for Casimero, Inoue will uproot his Japan training camp early so he can spend the last three weeks on US soil.
Before finding a home at bantamweight, Inoue also won world titles at light-fly and super-fly (115 lbs).