Casimero jumps in for superstardom
Crying he’s the real monster, Johnriel Casimero of the Philippines shoots for full pound-for-pound stardom when he clashes with unbeaten Japanese star Naoya “The Monster” Inoue in Las Vegas on April 25.
It’s a dream bout, a very bright turn for Casimero, who scored three sensational wins last year, capped by a stoppage of the celebrated Zolani Tete for the world bantamweight title.
There was a slated prefight confrontation in Tokyo, but Casimero failed to honor it due to a visa problem.
Just the same, an impromptu press conference was held in Manila, with Inoue checking in via a cardboard cutout, thus leaving space for a mock staredown.
Casimero, appearing flashy and rugged, lent real-life drama by thrashing a mean left fist to Inoue’s smooth, young face.
That was as good as having a live confrontation between the top world bantamweight rivals.
It won’t be until fight week in Las Vegas that they come to meet for the first time.
The world championship, a triple bantamweight unification affair, could build up into a super fight.
Casimero is the WBO 118-lbs crown holder, while the feared Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) owns the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation bantamweight belts.
Casimero (24-4, 20 KOs) could readily pale out as the underdog,
Inoue, 27, whose sensational win over the tough Nonito Donaire earned him the Muhammad Ali Trophy staked in the World Boxing Super Series, has been rated a solid world pound-for-pound entrant.
Casimero, 31, holds an edge in experience, having previously ruled as world junior flyweight and flyweight champion.It will be the first appearance in Las Vegas for both warriors.
Casimero has been dubbed a road warrior having fought in various capitals.
It will be Inoue’s only second fight outside Japan, having scored a second round stoppage of Emmanuel Rodriguez in May, his last bout away from home.
Casimero, who fights under the Manny Paquiao Promotions, has exuded confidence Inoue would be unable to stand his power punches.
His toughness will however be fully tested once exposed to Inoue’s fearsome body blows.
Said Sean Gibbons, president of the Manny Pacquiao Promotions: “This is the best two bantamweights in the world—fighting in the prime of their careers.”
“A good fight, someone will get kayoed,” said Dong Secuya, founder and chief editor of Philboxing.com. “Hopefully Johnriel can cash in on his newfound confidence.”
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