Quijano: John Riel Casimero, a true road warrior-A A +A
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
CHEERS to John Riel Casimero for successfully defending his IBF junior flyweight title in faraway Panama.
A true road warrior indeed, and a rare breed at that. Among our current roster, another champion who does well on the road is Donnie Nietes who fought and defended his title successfully in Mexico on three occasions.
Considering his harrowing debacle in Argentina last year where he was attacked on top of the ring by an angry mob who did not take the loss of local favorite Luiz Lazarte lightly, this young man from Leyte has clearly developed self-confidence and some buoyancy from that experience.
After all, after the miasma he’d been through, perhaps the young man can very well rationalize that it could not get any worse than that.
Indeed, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
FIGHT. Casimero’s confidence showed in the early rounds, as he was the aggressor and threw a few wild swings that missed the mark. He soon settled down in the next few rounds and controlled the fight with his jab.
He scored with several solid connects which got the attention of Luis Alberto Rios.
Casimero repeatedly pushed the action, but on several occasions, Rios was unwilling to engage.
The fight turned into a jabfest, and Rios would tie up Casimero when the latter landed a punch and tried to follow it up with a combination. Inevitably, the fans started booing the lackluster action.
In the end, Casimero almost scored a shutout on all the judges’ cards.
Congratulations, Johnrheil. You deserve a hero’s welcome.
BRADLEY. I was almost right on the money last Sunday with my prediction of a Ruslan Provodnikov win via decision. But inexplicably, the judges turned in verdicts all in favor of Timothy Bradley.
The referee also blew it when he missed the punch that preceded a Bradley fall and failed to call it a knockdown in the very first round.
Bradley was clearly dazed when got up as he wobbled and fell back on the ropes. That
crucial one point in favor of Provodnikov would have made it a draw on the cards.
The Russian was the aggressor in the fight, and his feral approach was clearly effective against Bradley but he lost steam in the middle rounds. To his credit, Bradley was his usual valorous self, fighting on despite being hurt on several occasions.
Someone up there must like Bradley as this is the second consecutive fight that the judges have been partial to him.
The dubious result only casts Bradley as someone to be closely vetted, but it probably also makes him a viable opponent for Manny Pacquiao’s comeback fight if he wants one before fight number 5 with Juan Manuel Marquez.
The Provodnikov fight showed how vulnerable Bradley can be to a sustained, aggressive approach. Plus, he doesn’t punch as hard, which can be a good test-the-waters approach for the come-backing Pacman.
UFC 158. True to form, GSP dominated Nick Diaz and got the unanimous decision win at UFC 158.
As expected, GSP took Diaz to the ground early in the fight and flummoxed the challenger with elbows, punches and submission attempts.
Diaz gained some traction in the third when GPS appeared to tire out, but the former could not mount a sustainable offensive spurt that could have swayed the judges in his favor.
After the fight, the caustic Diaz once again made disparaging remarks against GSP and called for a rematch, but the fight showed his bark is worse than the actual bite.
HE SAID IT. “I’m not hurt. Getting hit, you know, he hits like a woman. He has his full-on range to separate and punch me, but he hits like a girl because he’s too scared to let go to get a real punch in.”-Nick Diaz (www.mmafighting.com)
LAST ROUNDS. Are on my Auntie Belle Maningo-Quijano and Leo Bono who are celebrating their birthdays this week. Cheers!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 20, 2013.