Congratulations, John Reil Casimero-A A +A
Sunday, August 12, 2012
WELL at least it isn’t all bad news on the boxing front—on the professional ranks, that is. John Reil Casimero (17-2, 10KOs) did us proud once again by defending this IBF light flyweight crown against Pedro Guevara in Sinaloa, Mexico via split decision.
This is the second time that Casimero has fearlessly waded into foreign territory to defeat the local favorite.
The talented young kid from the Omega Boxing Gym knocked down his opponent with a short sneaky uppercut in the very first round. In order to survive the onslaught, the Mexican then used his reach advantage in the ensuing rounds to score with innocuous looking blows.
However, Casimero picked up the pace in the final rounds and his aggression definitely won him the fight.
AT IT AGAIN? Don’t’ look now, but boxing judge Ruben Garcia seems to be at it again. He was the only judge who had Pedro Guevara winning by a point, 114-113.
Team Casimero would not want to ascribe any bias to the scoring, after all it was only a one-point advantage. Granted, if you take the fight per se, the score seems perfectly acceptable and possibly just another subjective take from a judge.
But consider that Garcia had Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. winning against another Filipino fighter Nonito Donaire Jr. by a score of 115-112.
Further research also revealed that another Pinoy, Brian Viloria was also given a very narrow 114-113 lead by Garcia when the others had it 115-113 and 117-110 in his win against Julio Cesar Miranda in July 2011.
It makes you wonder if it’s just desultory on the part of Garcia or he is clearly opinionated against Filipino fighters.
PROS AND CONS. It has been suggested that the success of our boxers in the professional ranks is partly to blame for the dearth of talent in the amateurs. I am inclined to agree. Take a look at Johnreil Casimero, who at 22 years of age is already a world champion. He has fast hands, adapts an aggressive, attacking style--just perfect for the amateurs.
He competes in the same division (light flyweight) as Mark Barriga, but he is four inches taller at 5’4”.
Or the talented Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr., another 22-year-old who is now 9-0, all via the short route as a professional.
We lost these pugs to the pros because there was nothing to attract them in the amateur ranks. Well, “lost” is a subjective term as it becomes a gain for us in the pros.
But the search for that Olympic Gold? It happens only every four years. Till then, what?
In the meantime, there is nothing concrete, nothing appealing for these talented young pugs to prevent them from earning gold and glory in the pros.
“Onyok” Velasco was another prime, albeit sad example. After getting shafted and winning only the silver in the 1996 Olympics, he could have had another run for the 2000 games.
But instead he opted to cash in his checks, and embarked on a short-lived movie career. Can you really blame him?
The same underlining theme dominates the foregoing examples. In the meantime that the Olympics is still a good four years away, what’s there to motivate them to keep training?
Financial support seems to be the topical solution, but we all know that’s easier said than done.
Did anybody notice the usual crowd of politician-sycophants who flew all the way to London to show “support” for our athletes, the way some of them do when they “pay their own way” to glitzy, swanky Las Vegas for a Manny Pacquiao fight? I didn’t think so. Love for country? Platitudes are cheap. Sure, patriotism infects us all nowadaysbut in the meantime, we have no qualms about throwing our trash anywhere.
LAST ROUND. It’s on my handsome inaanak, Emil Franco Gomos, who celebrates his birthday this week. Cheers!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 12, 2012.