Casimero ready to defend title vs anybody, anywhere
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Johnriel Casimero wants to defend his newly won International Boxing Federation light flyweight crown against all-comers 10 times or more.
And the first one is likely to happen in November, wherever it may be.
“I will fight anywhere but it depends on what is best,” Casimero told sportswriters in Filipino during a press conference hosted by AKTV yesterday afternoon.
The 22-year-old Casimero, fresh off a split decision victory over erstwhile unbeaten Pedro Guevara in Mexico, was accompanied by promoter Sammy Gello-ani, who said that his ward is open to a unification bout in the 108-pound class.
“He (Casimero) doesn’t care wherever and whomever he fights,” said Gello-ani.
Gello-ani, of course, prefers that Casimero, now 14-2 with 10 knockouts, stakes his title either in Manila or Cebu as fighting abroad “entails a lot of risks.”
Just like when they were nearly lynched by an irate mob in Mar del Plata, Argentina, after Casimero bested hometown hero Luis Lazarte last Feb. 10 for the IBF light flyweight interim title.
The Ormoc-born Casimero was elevated to full champion after Mexican Ulises Solis got injured and couldn’t make his mandatory defense in time.
While praising the skills of Casimero, the 2006 Iloilo Palaro gold medalist as an amateur, Gello-ani said there’s still room for improvement, particularly on unleashing follow-up shots and throwing combinations.
“He has to learn how to cut off the ring against a backpedaling opponent (like Guevarra), as well as improve his timing and distance,” said Gello-ani.
Casimero, sporting a Justin Bieber haircut, Gello-ani and trainer Christopher “Pingping” Tempora returned to the country Wednesday from Sinaloa, Mexico, and took a connecting flight to Cebu.
Barely 24 hours later, they were in Manila to begin a series of promotional appearances. They’ll be returning to Cebu today, hopeful of brighter opportunities.
The Casimero-Guevarra showdown will be replayed at 7:30 p,m, today on AKTV on IBC 13. Roy Luarca