WITH world title fights within the horizon, former world champions Johnriel Casimero and Marvin Sonsona are starting the year right by working on their game ahead of time.
Casimero and Sonsona started training in Manila at Yraola Boxing Gym despite having no final word yet on both their fights this year.
“They started training this week here in Manila in Yraola Boxing Gym and later in Orlando Florida in a gym set up by Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing LLC,” Casimero and Sonsona’s promoter Sammy Gello-ani said.
Casimero is waiting for a mandatory shot at the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight crown currently held by Amnat Ruenroeng.
Ruenroeng is slated to defend his IBF title against Chinese star Zou Shiming in clash of former Olympians on March 7 at the Cotai Arena in Macau. Casimero should be the challenger of the winner.
Casimero relinquished his crown last year after tipping the scales overweight in his title defense against Mauricio Fuentes in Cebu City. He demolished Fuentes in the opening round.
The 24-year-old former IBF light flyweight champion moved up in weight and fought for the No. 1 spot of the IBF flyweight division against Armando Santos last month in Mexico. He stopped Santos in two rounds.
Gello-ani is working on a World Boxing Council featherweight title eliminator for Sonsona, possibly against unbeaten Jayson Velez as the opponent.
After fighting sporadically in the past few years, Sonsona had an impressive year in 2014.
Sonsona scored a brutal third round knockout of Akifumi Shimoda before avenging his only career defeat with a split decision victory over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.
Gello-ani feels that training in the US should be a huge boost in both boxers’ careers.
“So far I can see the benefit they can get on their training in the US,” he said “Possibly three to four months or more if they like to train there.”
Casimero and Sonsona are scheduled to fly to the US this month.