‘A helping hand’-A A +A
Friday, February 15, 2013
INTERNATIONAL Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight king Johnriel Casimero gets much needed help in preparation for his second title defense next month as he spars with a fellow world champion.
Casimero, who trains at the Omega Boxing Gym, is sparring with boxers from the ALA Boxing Gym, including World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight titleholder Donnie Nietes. He is also sparring with unbeaten Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation super flyweight titlist Arthur Villanueva and Marjohn Yap.
“Casimero now is stepping up his training and Christopher Tepora, his trainer, is getting good support from ALA Gym fighters on his sparring sessions like Donnie Nietes, Yap and Villanueva. Fighting in foreign land is not a problem to him,” Casimero’s promoter Sammy Gello-ani told Sun.Star Cebu.
Casimero will defend his IBF light flyweight belt against mandatory challenger Luis Alberto Rios on March 16 at the Megapolis Convention Center in Panama.
Nietes, Villanueva and Yap have a combined experience of 82 fights with a 70-9-3 record with 39 knockouts.
Nietes will also defend his WBO title on March 2, against WBO mini-flyweight titleholder Moises Fuentes at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City.
This is the 23-year-old Casimero’s fifth world title fight in foreign soil, wherein he has won three. He has fought in Mexico, Nicaragua, South Africa and Argentina.
“His weight now is manageable and that he is programmed to be a little over before departing to US on March 10 on his way to Panama,” said Gello-ani.
Casimero is 17-2 with 10 knockouts, while Rios is 18-1-1 with 13 knockouts. Rios earned a title shot after stopping former world title challenger Felipe Salguero in the 11th round last year.
In the same boxing event, Filipino John Mark Apolinario is slated for a rematch with Roberto Vasquez for the interim World Boxing Association bantamweight title.
Apolinario and Vasquez figured in a majority draw last November.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 15, 2013.