Casimero retains title, blasts Rigondeaux for ‘always running’
Chasing and stalking throughout the fight, John Riel Casimero earned a split decision win over an elusive Guillermo Rigondeaux to retain his WBO bantamweight title Sunday (Manila time) at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Two judges scored the bout, 116-112 and 117-111 while the other had it for Rigondeaux, 115-113.
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“What he (Casimero) is saying is he’s very frustrated. It’s embarrassing. The man came in the best shape he can to give the fans what they want. And that was embarrassing. They should hold up that man’s purse. That was one of the worst displays of a fight I have ever seen,” said MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons in an interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray shortly after the fight.
“My expectation is knockout. I want a knockout. I tried to do my best to knock him out but Rigondeaux was always running and running. I’m focused on [the] knockout but Rigondeaux was always running and no fighting,” Casimero said.
Heading into the fight, Casimero predicted he would knock out Rigondeaux in three rounds but the Cuban, known for his technical and methodical style of fighting, kept running as a chorus of boos from the crowd poured in.
Casimero improved to 31-4, 21 KOs while Rigondeaux, a three-division champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, suffered only his second loss against 20 wins, 13 by knockout.