Quijano: A seminal moment for Philippine boxing

Just a few days after the huge announcement was made regarding a seminal moment in Philippine boxing, the drama has already begun.

I’ll chalk it up as the typical Pinoy’s penchant for extra sauce on the side, but either way that only adds to the allure of the upcoming Nonito Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) vs. John Riel Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) donnybrook with the WBO and WBC bantamweight championship belts on the line this coming Aug. 14 at Carson, California.

DONAIRE. Fresh after a knockout win over Nordine Oubaali that reinvigorated his career, “The Filipino Flash” will now be involved in one of the greatest moments in Philippine boxing.

Donaire had been pining for that Naoya Inoue rematch, but the latter just fought over the weekend, stopping Pinoy Michael Dasmarinas in just four rounds.

CASIMERO. “Quadro Alas” has been on a tear lately, going on a six-kayo streak since his last loss to compatriot Jonas Sultan back in 2017.

In his last fight, he successfully defended his WBO bantamweight crown by beating Duke Micah in three brutal rounds.

DRAMA. Much of the drama seems to have stemmed from a vlog that Casimero made in which he accused Donaire of snubbing him during a weigh-in and that Nonito refused to spar with Casimero allegedly saying he didn’t have anything to gain from sparring with him at that time.

Nonito’s wife Rachel answered the allegations on her Twitter account, and so if you are intrigued by the soap-opera, check out her Twitter handle @Knockout_Queen.

But as for me, I’m here for the nitty-gritty and so let’s dive right into how I think this will play out.

STYLE. This blockbuster event has all the makings of our version of the Mexican slugout between Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales.

Boxing-wise, Donaire will have the advantage. He is faster, more experienced and has been in there with a significant number of elite fighters.

The problem I had with Nonito was his over-reliance on that vaunted left hook which takes away from so much of his game and makes his offense predictable.

The younger Casimero will have the advantage in stamina and durability. Donaire has been known to taper off and fade in later rounds, but ever since he has moved up to his current weight division—Casimero seems to have gotten stronger.

I would say the power equation is decidedly even with either man capable of ending the fight with one punch.

A lot would depend on strategy and preparation coming into this fight, but I have Donaire edging out Casimero on a close decision as long as he plays it safe and sticks to boxing.

But I would not be surprised if Casimero puts a beating on Donaire late and dominates him leading up to a controversial verdict.

LAST ROUND. It’s on Mama Alma Gopico-Navarro, who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers!


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