John Riel Casimero could be stripped of bantamweight title after BBBoC medical violation

John Riel Casimero is in deep kimchi yet again.

The three-division titlist could be stripped of his WBO bantamweight title due to his use of a sauna days ahead of a scheduled title defense against Paul Butler in Liverpool. The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) has a strict zero-tolerance policy regarding the use of saunas to lose weight before a fight.

“The British Boxing Board of Control has been made aware that Mr. Casimero has made use of a sauna in close proximity to his World Boxing Organization Championship contest on 22nd April 2022 in Liverpool,” Robert Smith, general secretary of BBBoC stated in a letter. “As you are aware, this is against BBBoC’s medical guidelines and therefore we can’t permit him to compete in the proposed contest on Friday.”

BoxingScene.com was first to report the story.

This marks the second time in the past four months that Casimero (31-4, 21 KOs), of the Philippines, has been forced out of a planned title defense against Butler. As a result, the troubled boxer received a second Show Cause letter from the WBO to avoid being stripped of the title. However, with this being the second strike, Casimero may have run out of chances.

“Please be advised that on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, the WBO confirmed receipt of email correspondence from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) advising that supporting evidence was provided to the "BBBofC" regarding John Riel Casimero using a sauna in proximity to his scheduled WBO Bantamweight Mandatory Championship Contest against Paul Butler on Friday, April 22, 2022, at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom,” Luis Batista-Salas, chairman of WBO Championship Committee stated in a letter addressed to Egis Klimas, Casimero’s manager. “Per the British Boxing Board of Control, Casimero's actions are against the Board's medical guidelines and therefore, he will not be permitted to compete accordingly.

“Therefore, considering the foregoing determination by the "BBBofC," the relevant conditions stated in this Committee's "Resolutions," and the facts stated herein, Casimero is hereby ordered to "Show Cause" within the next 48 hours as to why the "WBO" Bantamweight Championship Title shall not be declared "Vacant."

Casimero was originally tabbed to face Butler in a December 11 main event in Dubai. However, the 32-year-old withdrew after he was unable to make it to the weigh-end after being hospitalized due to gastritis. Sufficient medical records were provided to the WBO, which allowed Casimero to retain the 118-pound title he has held since November 2019 when he knocked out Zolani Tete in Birmingham, England. His title reign has been largely a disappointment, with just two defenses and four canceled bouts, including two with Butler.

“[W]e must stress that Casimero has not fulfilled a mandatory title defense obligation since his title acquisition on November 30, 2019,” noted Batista-Salas. “In other words, 2 years and four (4) months have transpired without Casimero discharging his mandatory obligation and therefore, Casimero is in clear violation of the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.”

Casimero is coming off a controversial 12-round split decision victory in August 2021 against former two-division titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux in Carson, California.

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