John Riel Casimero vs. Paul Butler off due to Casimero’s violation of BBBofC medical policy
John Riel Casimero is in danger of being stripped of the WBO bantamweight title after violating terms of the British Boxing Board of Control’s medical policy regarding the use of saunas prior to a fight.
Casimero (31-4, 21 knockouts) was scheduled to face mandatory challenger Paul Butler on Friday in Liverpool, England but will not be allowed to do so because of the commission’s strict policy against using saunas to cut weight before a fight.
Evidence of the sauna use came from Casimero’s own YouTube channel, where he was shown using a sauna to cut weight after arriving in the United Kingdom. The video has now been set to private.
“This is against the BBBofC’s medical guidelines and therefore we cannot permit him to compete in the proposed contest on Friday,” reads a BBBofC letter, which was signed by General Secretary Robert W. Smith, effectively nixing the main event for the Probellum card.
The letter adds that Casimero had completed two weight checks since arriving in the United Kingdom, and showed an “alarming reduction” of ten pounds in a span of three days.
The Puerto Rico based organization has given Casimero’s team 48 hours to “Show Cause” as to why the belt should not be declared vacant.
The timing of the infraction is not in Casimero’s favor, given that he has not made a mandatory defense since winning the title from Zolani Tete in November of 2019. The 33-year-old Casimero of Ormoc City, Philippines has made two voluntary defenses of the belt, against Duke Micah and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Casimero had originally been scheduled to defend against Butler in December, but withdrew from the fight prior to the weigh-in after being hospitalized due to gastritis. Reports had circulated that Casimero had been struggling to make the 118-pound weight prior to the canceled fight in Dubai.
Afterwards, Casimero was advised by the WBO that title would be declared vacant if he does not attend the official weigh in “for any reason.”
Butler (33-2, 15 KOs)is a former WBO junior bantamweight titleholder, and has won seven straight since his most recent loss to Emmanuel Rodriguez in 2018.
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