Casimero vows 3rd-round KO if Rigondeaux ‘will not run’
LOS ANGELES—John Riel Casimero was spouting off numbers and spilling beans on Thursday here, during the final press conference of his bout against Cuban maestro Guillermo Rigondeaux.
“This should be secret,” Casimero said in halting English. “But I will stop him in three rounds.”
Casimero and Rigondeaux rumble on Saturday (Sunday morning in Manila) for Casimero’s World Boxing Organization bantamweight title at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
And the Cuban standout believes he will shut Casimero’s loud mouth in the bout.
“I’m not much of a talker, but he will see the demon on Saturday,” said Rigondeaux in Spanish.
The fight will feature two boxers who have had trouble in the past getting prime time fight schedules.
The flashy, loud-talking Casimero has seen big fights slip away for various reasons. In the eyes of the Casimero camp, however, the big names who ditched fight dates with him—including the likes of Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire—did so to avoid his fearsome power and hunger for stardom.
Opponents steer clear of Rigondeaux for a different reason. The two-time Olympic gold medalist is a skillful, tactical boxer whose calculating style—one that is not exactly made-for-TV—presents a problem for pro fighters looking for huge, highlight punches.
It was the same style that bothered Donaire during their bout, where Ridondeaux defeated the Filipino just a year after the latter was named Fighter of the Year in 2012.
And even during the press conference, the clash of personalities was glaring.
Rigondeaux, who came wearing a plain black shirt, called Casimero—dressed in an Versace jacket and 70s style sunglasses—a “payaso,” a clown.
The name-calling seemed to have touched a nerve and Casimero said that as long as Rigondeaux “will not run, he will be my 7th victim in a row.”
Casimero is on a roll with six consecutive knockout wins.
Rigondeaux also has his own collection to keep. He was cunning enough to impose his game style in beating two Filipinos, four-division champion Donaire and Drian Francisco.
In the usual photo op, the 40-year-old Rigondeaux made a slash-throat gesture at Casimero who returned the favor right away.
Then after walking down the stage, Casimero told Filipino sportswriters who asked him if he’s up for a drink on Saturday: “Matic na yan,” (sure thing).On a rare time that Casimero didn’t struggle with weight, the Filipino appeared in tip-top shape, just two pounds over the 118 lbs ceiling, a day before the official weigh-in.
“It’s nothing we should worry about,” said his chief trainer Nonoy Neri.
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