Johnriel Casimero Heavy Betting Favorite Against Paul Butler

A Storm Is Brewing Casimero Vs Butler

  • Johnriel Casimero has opened as the -2400 betting favorite against Paul Butler.
  • Casimero will defend the WBO bantamweight title against Butler who is his mandatory challenger.
  • Butler’s current +1220 odds is longer than the +900 opening odds he had when they were supposed to fight last December.

WBO bantamweight champion Johnriel Casimero has opened as a heavy betting favorite to retain his belt against former world champion Paul Butler on April 22.

According to the best boxing sportsbooks, Casimero is the -2400 betting favorite and Butler the +1220 bottom dog when they meet at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England on Friday night.

And Still

Casimero has not fought since an uninspiring split decision win over Guillermo Rigondeaux last August 24, 2021. The win was Casimero’s second successful defense of the WBO bantamweight belt he won via sensational knockout against Zolani Tete in November 2019. He knocked out Duke Micah in September 2020 during his first title defense.

The 32-year-old Filipino is a three-weight division world champion, having also held the IBF junior flyweight title from 2012-13 and the IBF flyweight belt in 2016. Casimero was supposed to fight countryman Nonito Donaire in a title unification fight last year but plans did not materialize after the camps had a disagreement. He went on to fight Rigondeaux instead in a lackluster performance. Casimero is 31-4 with 21 knockouts.

Casimero was then ordered by the WBO to make a mandatory title defense against the no. 1 ranked contender, which was Butler and they were supposed to headline the first Probellum event in Dubai last December 11. However, Casimero pulled out from the fight on the day of the weigh-ins after he was hospitalized due to gastritis. Butler was supposed to fight former world champion Joseph Agbeko in an interim title bout on the same event but the fight was pulled from the card.

Butler-Agbeko Fight Pulled from Probellum Dubai Show

There was no official statement from Probellum on why the Butler-Agbeko interim title bout was pulled from the December 11th event. However, it’s widely believed that Butler did not want to risk his mandatory challenger status to win a temporary belt. Instead, Butler opted to wait for Casimero to return and get his crack at the real title.

Butler held the IBF bantamweight title in 2014 and was a former British and Commonwealth super flyweight champion. The 33-year-old Englishman last challenged for the world title in 2018 when he fought and lost to Emmanuel Rodriguez for the IBF bantamweight belt. Butler is 33-2 with 15 knockouts.

This marks the first time that Butler has seen the plus money sign written next to his name since fighting Rodriguez at +330 odds. Butler opened at a shorter +900 odds during the first booking of his fight with Casimero. Meanwhile, Casimero is at longer odds now than the -3333 he opened the first time out.

Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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