THE fight was a year in the making but it was over in a flash as Johnriel Casimero easily demolished Colombian challenger Mauricio Fuentes.
After losing his International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight belt at the scales, Casimero unleashed the beast in him and aggressively attacked Fuentes from the start of the bell in the scheduled 12-round world title fight in the main event of “Pinoy Knockout” last Saturday night at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.
The 24-year-old Casimero dropped Fuentes thrice in the opening round before American referee Gerard White saw enough and waived the bout with just a second left in the round.
Casimero is now officially a flyweight and has his sights on arguably the best world champion in the division– World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight king Juan Francisco Estrada.
“If he is available, I want Estrada, so that we will know who the better fighter is,” Casimero said after the easy win.
Casimero improved to 20-2 with 12 knockouts, while the 24-year-old Fuentes dropped to 16-2 with 10 knockouts.
Casimero’s promoter Sammy Gello-ani was impressed with his ward’s performance and will be giving him a world title fight soon, possibly against Estrada.
“He wanted to show everybody that he’s a champion,” said Gello-ani. “(A fight with Estrada) We will make it possible. I know he can beat Estrada.”
Estrada has gained notoriety to the Filipinos after beating some of the best Filipino fighters in the 112 pound weight division – Brian Viloria and Milan Melindo.
In the main supporting bout, Harmonito dela Torre (13-0, 8 KOs) remained unbeaten and captured the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) super featherweight crown with a fourth round stoppage of a tough and game Gadwin Tubigon (10-9-2, 5 KOs).
Tubigon was forced to quit on his stool after he got a nasty cut on his upper lip, which was from a huge counter left hook that knocked him down in the previous round.
Former amateur standout Jack Tepora (10-0, 6 KOs) displayed his accurate punching prowess and stopped journeyman Joas Apericio (11-12, 8 KOs) in the 10th to win the vacant WBF Asia-Pacific super bantamweight belt.