Casimero promises to be in top form vs. Salguero-A A +A
Thursday, September 26, 2013
DESPITE a long layoff from the ring, International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight king Johnriel Casimero promised to be in top form for his voluntary title defense next month.
Casimero has been out for six months now since his last title defense against Luis Alberto Rios in March. But his trainer Christopher “Ping-Ping” Tepora is confident that his ward won’t be affected by ring rust.
“I think it won’t affect his performance in this fight because he did not stop training because Sir Sammy (Gello-ani) told us that he will find a way for Casimero to defend his belt,” the Omega Boxing Gym coach told Sun.Star Cebu.
Casimero, 18-2 with 10 knockouts, defends his crown against former world title challenger Felipe Salguero, 18-4-1 with 13 knockouts, in a boxing show promoted by Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions on Oct. 26 at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Salguero fought for a world title once but lost to current World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight titleholder Donnie Nietes by unanimous decision last year in Manila. Salguero traded leathers with one-time Casimero challenger Rios but was stopped in the 11th round.
Salguero has won back-to-back fights since against unheralded boxers Armando Vazquez and Javier Romano.
The IBF No. 6 ranked Salguero isn’t an exceptional boxer but he is tough as nails, which is why Casimero and his team aren’t taking him lightly.
“Casimero is sparring regularly. We are not underestimating his opponent,” said Christopher. “We will do our best to win in this fight because this is our first time to defend the title here in the Philippines. We won’t promise a knockout, the important thing is we will win.”
The 23-year-old Casimero has won straight fights in a row since moving up and getting knocked out by IBF flyweight king Moruti Mthalane in 2011.
He won the IBF flyweight belt in a riot-marred fight in Argentina against Luis Alberto Alberto Lazarte. He has successfully defended his belt twice against Pedro Guevara in Mexico and Rios in Panama.
Christopher’s younger brother, Jack Tepora, is also slated in the undercard possibly against a Thai.
Jack, 7-0 with five knockouts, is currently training in with Pacquiao in Gen. Santos after MP Promotions has shown interest in the 18-year-old former amateur standout.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 27, 2013.