Will Johnriel Casimero get to meet his idol?
SONGS and tributes have been composed in honor of tough-talking President Rodrigo Duterte, but world flyweight boxing champion Johnriel Casimero’s wish to meet the fiery Chief Executive in person tops the chart: It’s both timely and reassuring.
It comes at a time when Mr. Duterte continues to receive record bashing from practically all directions, here and abroad.
“He’s my idol,” said Casimero, noting that he won the International Boxing Federation 112-lbs crown with a vengeful stoppage of the Thai ring terror Amnat Ruenroeng two weeks after Mr. Duterte scored a landslide victory in the national polls last May.
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The way Casimero put it, it’s his dream to meet President Duterte, whom, he said, he admires for his ” courage, dedication and political will.”
President Duterte, meanwhile, has remained defiant, unfazed by what he perceived were moves to unseat or impeach him by lameduck politicians whose sectors he had overrun.
“We’ve been asleep for 40 years, now there are those being dismayed by the unbending ways of the President in his quest for genuine change,” said my neighbor Jake de Jesus, a trusted sales and management consultant, who worked quietly behind the scenes in supporting the Duterte candidacy.
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President Duterte has had problems mainly with his foul vocabulary, said my relatives in California, but the man has actually been making great sacrifices for the sake of the country and our people.
“We won’t change him for anybody else, he’s our one and only hope for salvation,” said former national cycling team mainstay Rolando Hiso, here on a break from Chicago for the 70th birthday celebration of his sweet and gentle wife Ollit in Marikina on Saturday.
Anyway, it may not come immediately but, knowing the President, Casimero would get his deserved acknowledgement anytime soon for the great honor he has brought his countrymen with a solid and gutsy stoppage of his British challenger in London on Sunday.
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It was not in his mind, and Casimero would confess how greatly he was touched when the unbeaten Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan, following another successful defense of his world middleweight crown, personally congratulated him, calling the Pinoy road warrior from Ormoc a great world champion.
Casimero, who had won two world titles in the light flyweight class, would express two other wishes after the successful defense of his crown: Get a crack at the reigning world pound-for-pound king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez of Nicaragua, and be able to fight before his own countrymen.