CEBU

Nailed on third

WORLD Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight king Johnriel Casimero sent out a strong message to the top fighters of the bantamweight division following an impressive third round knockout of former Olympian Duke Micah last Sept. 27, 2020 (PH time) at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Casimero dropped Micah in the second round with a left hook. The 29-year-old Ghanaian, however, stood up and survived the onslaught.

In the third round, Casimero landed a left uppercut to the body followed by a right uppercut to the head that wobbled Micah and forced referee Steve Willis to stop the fight with just 54 seconds into the round.

“I worked hard and got the win tonight. In the first round I saw the body shot hurt him and thought I could get him out right away, but he’s a good boxer who was undefeated for a reason,” said Casimero, who did one-hand pushups after his win, in a report posted at Fightnews.com. “The second round the uppercut hurt him, but Duke Micah works hard, he’s strong and has a good chin. I knew I was facing a good fighter, so I didn’t expect to knock him out so fast. He’s strong so I was prepared to go all 12 rounds.”

The 31-year-old Casimero improved to 30-4 with 21 knockouts, while Micah suffered his first career defeat and dropped to 24-1 with 19 knockouts.

Casimero took a jab at Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue, who he believed ducked him. He also challenged the big names in the bantamweight and super bantamweight divisions.

“I’m the real monster. Naoya Inoue is scared of me. You’re next. I would have knocked out anyone today. If Inoue doesn’t fight me, then I’ll fight Guillermo Rigondeaux, Luis Nery, or any of the top fighters,” he said.

Casimero was supposed to fight Inoue in a unification bout back in April, but the fight was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The fight fizzled out altogether and both fighters went their separate ways.

Casimero was instead matched up against Micah, while Inoue will be defending his International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Association (WBA) bantamweight belts against Aussie Jason Moloney on Oct. 31, 2020 in Las Vegas. (EKA)


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