Fighting at home-A A +A
Thursday, March 21, 2013
JOHNRIEL Casimero has already fought a total of six world title fights but not a single one was staged in the Philippines. That may change as veteran international promoter Sammy Gello-ani plans to hold Casimero’s next title defense here in the country.
“That would be probably on July or August. This fight is our option, so we can get challenger from the Latin countries,” said Gello-ani yesterday in a press conference at the Park Mall.
Cebu City is the frontrunner on where the blockbuster event may be staged.
Junpe Castillo, Casimero’s manager, is also open to the idea of his 23-year-old ward defending his International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight crown here.
Casimero and his team returned to Cebu City yesterday morning following a successful title defense in Panama. Casimero won by unanimous decision against mandatory challenger Luis Alberto Rios last Sunday (RP time).
The thought of defending his crown in his own backyard is a delight to Casimero, but he is always ready to defend it on the road.
“I’m comfortable fighting anywhere. I’m used to it already,” said Casimero.
Casimero has won four times in six world title fights in foreign soil. His losses were by a tight split decision to Ramon Garcia in Mexico and a fifth-round stoppage to Moruti Mthalane in South Africa.
Although a unification bout with other champions in the 108-pound division is tempting, Gello-ani wants Casimero to just focus on defending his IBF crown. Moving up in weight isn’t also an option at this moment, much more a unification bout with another Filipino world champion.
“We want to defend this title longer. He can still make weight. Maybe after two
fights,” he said.
“It does not look good also for Philippine boxing, a Filipino against a Filipino in a world title fight. It can be, but it depends upon the situation. If we can’t avoid it, maybe, but if we do it on purpose, I don’t think it’s good,” said Gello-ani on the idea of a unification bout between Casimero and World Boxing Organization light flyweight king Donnie Nietes.
The other champions in the light flyweight division are Nicaraguan Roman Gonzalez (WBA super champion), Japanese Kazuto Ioka (WBA) and Mexican Adrian Hernandez (WBC).
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 22, 2013.