Bantamweight contender Ricardo Espinoza will square off against former IBF junior flyweight titleholder John Riel Casimero at the Dignity Health Sports Park (formerly the StubHub Center) in Carson, California on Saturday.
The 12-round bout will take place on the undercard of Danny Garcia-Adrian Granados.
Espinoza is currently the mandatory challenger for WBO 118-pound titleholder Zolani Tete who is scheduled to face Nonito Donaire in a World Boxing Super Series semi-final on Apr. 27 in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Due to Tete’s participation in the tournament, which could lead to a final spot against the winner of IBF titleholder Emmanuel Rodriguez and Naoya Inoue, the WBO championship committee met earlier this week and ruled Espinoza-Casimero an interim title bout.
Casimero is ranked No. 6 by the WBO.
Espinoza (23-2, 20 knockouts), who resides in Tijuana, Mexico, knocked out Panama’s Ricardo Nunez in his last bout on Mar. 1 in Hollywood, California. The hard-hitting 21-year-old has won his last 13 bouts in less than two years.
“I am happy to be fighting for an (interim) world title,” said Espinoza. “I have proven that I am ready for this moment. I want to thank all my team for making this possible Saturday night.”
“We are proud of Espinoza’s progress up to date,” said ’Tuto’ Zabala, who is the president of All Star Boxing Promotions. “He has shown he belongs at the top of the division. We are confident in Espinoza’s abilities and experience, and he will be victorious on Saturday.”
Casimero (26-4, 17 KOs) resides in Leyte City in the Philippines. He has won his last two bouts since losing by unanimous decision to junior bantamweight contender Jonas Sultan in September 2017.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since September 2012. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing
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