Two-division world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and WBO Bantamweight World Champion John Riel Casimero previewed their upcoming championship showdown during a virtual press conference on Wednesday before they step into the ring on Saturday, August 14 live on SHOWTIME headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The event is promoted by TGB Promotions. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will see Cuba’s two-time Olympic gold medalist Rigondeaux, who has earned pound-for-pound recognition at various points in his career, return to action against the Philippine’s Casimero, a three-division world champion looking for a career-best victory in his second 118-pound title defense.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday:
“We are in the home stretch of training and everything has been going great. We’re fully focused on and excited about this fight coming up on August 14.
“It’s about patience before everything. That’s how I live. Whoever is standing across the ring from me on fight night, I will be ready for him regardless.
“I’ve always been at the world championship level and everyone knows that. At this point, I’m just waiting for August 14 to again show what I’m capable of and take care of business.
“I’m not worried about Casimero’s power or anything he brings. I’ve fought in three divisions and I’ve gone after the biggest challenges every time. I’m just not worried about what Casimero will do in the ring.
“It’s simple to me. Casimero is going to do his job and I’m going to do mine. We’ll both bring our ‘A-games’ and see who comes out on top on August 14.
“I’m not a big trash-talker. It’s not about what he’s going to say beforehand. I’ll see him in the ring on August 14 and he’ll get the real Rigondeaux just like he wants. Until then, I’m just focusing on my job.
“He says he’s going to retire me, so it’s on now. We’ll see if he’s able to back up that talk on August 14.
“He’s going to feel my power. Everyone is talking about his power and I feel like my power is being underestimated. I can’t wait to get in the ring on August 14 and show everyone what I’m capable of.
“I can guarantee that everyone is going to see the best of me on August 14. I perform best under the bright lights and that’s what I’m bringing to this fight.
“Casimero is a good opponent. Every opponent that I face believes that they can beat me, but the pressure is on them to back that up. I can only control what I bring and I know I’m going to be ready.
“I moved down to bantamweight because nobody wanted to fight me at 122-pounds. I’m the best fighter at that weight and everyone knows it. But no one wanted to fight me, so it just made sense to go down to bantamweight.”
JOHN RIEL CASIMERO
“I’m so ready for this fight on August 14. Training camp has gone so well and I’m just ready to rumble.
“Nonito Donaire didn’t want to fight me but that’s okay. Donaire is easy for me. Now, I have Rigondeaux and I know he’s very experienced. He’s a two-division world champion and a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. This will be a great fight.
“Rigondeaux has a much different style from Donaire. I’m actually much more excited to fight Rigondeaux because Donaire is scared of me. I don’t think Rigondeaux is scared. If he’s not scared, he better fight me and not run.
“I want this to be a fight. The fans want this to be a fight. I hope Rigondeaux doesn’t run. If he does, this will be a boring fight. His old fights are no good. All he does is run, run, run. I want the Rigondeaux that doesn’t run, the one that boxes and fights.
“I believe that my work rate will overwhelm Rigondeaux. We put together a nice strategy with my trainer for Rigondeaux. We’ve watched a lot of tape on him. We just hope that the Rigondeaux that fought Nonito Donaire on a bicycle doesn’t show up. We want to see the one we’ve seen recently that comes to fight. I want to excite the people at the Dignity Health Sports Park. It’s a very special place to me because that’s where I won the WBO title. It will be another great fight if Rigondeaux comes to fight.
“When I beat Rigondeaux on August 14, he’s going to retire. He’s finished. Finito!
“We don’t underestimate anybody. I know that he’s a great fighter, a two-division champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. I want to do my best. I prepare very well for every fight. I just hope Rigondeaux leaves his bicycle at home and brings his boxing shoes and comes to fight. I know he’s preparing for this fight with hard work too.
“The change in opponent doesn’t bother me at all. It went back-and-forth between Rigondeaux and Donaire. I don’t care who they put in the ring in front of me. I’m ready and prepared for Rigondeaux.
“Rigondeaux thinks that Donaire is a better fighter than me, so I’m going to change his opinion on August 14.
“I need to win this fight so that I can keep moving along and get the next two big fights against Donaire and Naoya Inoue. But maybe those two are scared of me and don’t want to fight me.
“Manny Pacquiao is my idol. He’s a big inspiration. Being together and being able to train and run alongside him and watch what he does is inspiring. Everything about him is amazing. His power, what he does inside the ring and what he does outside of boxing as a Senator and what he does to help people are all inspiring and impressive.
“I’m very excited to be fighting back at the place where I won my world title. I have great memories there. There’s nothing better than going back to where you won your title. I think Rigondeaux has realized at this age he needs to engage a little more. I think this building brings out great fights. There’s something about the venue, so I think that Rigondeaux will stand and fight me and give the fans at the ‘War Grounds’ what they want to see.”