Bring it on-A A +A
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
NOW that he has proven he deserves to be called a world champion following a victorious first title defense in Mexico, International Boxing Federation light flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero is looking at the bigger picture – a long title reign and recognition as one of the best boxers in the light flyweight division.
“We want to defend it 10 times or more,” Sammy Gello-ani, Casimero’s promoter, said yesterday, in a press conference at the Omega Boxing Gym, of his ambitious goal for his young talented ward. “And make Casimero a really popular champion.”
Casimero won a split decision verdict against hometown hero Pedro Guevara last Sunday (RP time) in Mazatlan, Sinaloa.
Judges Levi Martinez and Matthew Podgorski gave scores of 114-113 and 116-111, respectively for Casimero, while Ruben Garcia saw it differently and had Guevara winning, 114-113.
Despite the other judge scoring it for Guevara, who was knocked down in the opening round, Gello-ani saw nothing malicious with Garcia’s judgment.
“I think it was fair because it was very close. One point is not a big deal. The important thing is that we won,” he said.
Casimero believes that he still has a lot to learn and needs loads of improvement in order for him to achieve his new goal. Gello-ani plans to take Casmiero’s training up a notch by sending him to the US to learn from the best.
“I will work hard to be better and train harder,” said the 22-year-old Ormoc City native who built his career here in Cebu City.
Casimero’s road to success wasn’t easy. He had to tread on enemy turf to win world titles. He has fought in Nicaragua, Mexico, South Africa and Argentina, where he and his team were attacked by a mob of angry fans.
“We are thinking of his optional defense here in the Philippines. But he is also ready to fight anywhere,” said Gello-ani.
The target date for Casimero’s optional title defense is either October or November.
“Casimero can make an adjustment anywhere and with any promotion.”
Despite the trials and tribulations that he has faced in fighting in his opponent’s backyard, Casimero continues to give the Philippines recognition worldwide.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 09, 2012.