THE losing streak for Filipinos in world title fights in Mexico continues as Johnreil Casimero lost his first title defense.

Casimero lost his interim World Boxing Organization light flyweight crown after bowing to Ramon Garcia Hirales via a close split decision yesterday at the Polideportivo Centenario in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico.

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One judge had it 115-113 for the 20-year-old Cebu-based boxer, while the other two had identical 115-113 scores for the Mexican.

Casimero started out strong but Hirales won the late rounds .

It was Casimero’s first defeat in his first world title defense. He won the title over former world champion Cesar Canchilia via an 11th-round KO last year.

Casimero fell to 14-1 with eight knockouts, while the 27-year-old Mexican improved to 13-1 with eight knockouts.

Filipinos haven’t won in a major world title fight this year in Mexico. The two other Filipino fighters who lost in Mexico previously, this year, are Rodel Mayol and Ritchie Mepranum.

On the other hand, journeyman Federico Catubay forfeited another chance at a shot for a world title as he was beaten by Mexican Rodrigo Guerrero in their International Boxing Federation super flyweight eliminator.

Guerrero defeated Catubay by unanimous decision, 116-112, 115-113, and 117-111.