The Aug. 14 bantamweight unification fight between Nonito Donaire and John Riel Casimero is apparently off after an escalating series of arguments led Donaire to claim he had canceled the fight. The WBC champion issued a statement on Twitter on Monday night explaining his stance.
The final straw for Donaire — after initial frustrations with WBO champion Casimero’s actions toward Voluntary Anti-Doping Association drug testing — came when Casimero insulted Donaire’s wife, Rachel, after she had criticized Casimero for the VADA situation.
“I am known to take stands people are afraid to take,” Donaire wrote. “I STAND for VADA 24/7/365 testing for ALL boxers. This should never be refused or delayed. I stand against BULLYING in any form. I STAND against the disrespect and ABUSE of women and children physically, mentally and emotionally. AND I STAND against misogynistic culture. A grown man recently told the mother of my boys to ‘snack on his —-‘. We cannot ignore this unprofessional behavior. We cannot excuse the disgusting trolling memes created of my wife as ‘just for entertainment’. I don’t want other pro athletes to cross this line and think this type of behavior is acceptable.”
Donaire continued his explanation of his decision to cancel the fight, again citing Casimero’s delays in turning in drug testing paperwork. Donaire ended by saying that he refused to give Casimero “the stage or payday” that would come with the unification bout.
“We have to maintain a respectable character, especially online, for the future generations to emulate, and not promote ignorance and foul behavior,” Donaire wrote. “For the boxing culture to change, promoters and networks should veer away from unacceptable behavior and not encourage it. That being said, as we’ve stated before, we canceled this fight when they delayed turning in the VADA paperwork for five days. We have proof that the opposing side was neither honest nor forthcoming in providing the proper information to begin VADA drug testing.
“AFTER we canceled the fight, then and only then did the paperwork suddenly appear. I do what I say. And as much as I want to knock him out, I’m going to take the high road and instead of highlighting his misbehaviors, I’m not going to give his example the stage or the payday that comes with it.”
After initial claims by the Donaire camp on June 26 that the fight was off because of Casimero’s inability to report his whereabouts to VADA for the testing process, VADA tweeted out that same day that both fighters were officially enrolled in their testing protocols.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum had previously stated that Donaire’s aim should he pull out of the fight with Casimero would be to instead rematch WBA and IBF bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue. Inoue beat Donaire in the 2019 Fight of the Year.