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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Jaro opposes Casimero’s corner

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
27 Jun 2015



Aljoe and Frankie Jaro will be in IBF flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng’s corner when the Thai stakes his crown against Ormoc City’s Johnriel Casimero at the Hua Mark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok tonight but while the brothers’ heart is for the Filipino challenger, they’re out to win because in the ring, it’s strictly business.

Aljoe Jaro, who is from Iloilo, said he’s in a win-win situation. “I told (Casimero’s manager) Sammy (Gello-ani) I’ll be happy whoever wins,” said Jaro in a phone interview from Bangkok. “But I’ve got a job to do. Trabaho lang, nothing personal. Of course, I’m sad that I’ll be working against a Filipino. That’s how it is in our profession. Sometimes, we can’t choose sides. Frankie and I have been with Amnat since he turned pro three years ago. It’s Frankie who trains Amnat in Thailand. I didn’t work his corner until his last three fights where he beat (Kazuto) Ioka, (McWilliams) Arroyo and (Zou) Shiming. Frankie starts Amnat’s training and I join two to three weeks before the fight.”

Against Casimero, Jaro said he expects a tough battle. “Casimero has power,” said Jaro, a promoter and matchmaker. “The only way he can win is to knock Amnat out. But if it goes 12 rounds, Amnat will win. If Amnat hits Casimero clean, he could also win by knockout. We’ve been working on adding power to Amnat’s punches in the gym. He’s not known for his power but he’s strong, too. He sparred about 100 rounds in 1 1/2 months to prepare for Casimero so he’s ready.”

Jaro said Amnat, a two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, will be careful not to expose himself to Casimero’s power shots. “We’ll come up with a strategy depending on what Casimero shows in the first and second rounds,” he said. “We know he’ll want to engage. But Amnat is hard to hit. He’s awkward. What I like about him is he’s a complete fighter. He’s not just a jab-straight-run fighter like in the amateurs. He’s adapted to the professional style. He can mix fighting the amateur or professional style. He also has good footwork. His favorite punch is the left uppercut. He doesn’t attack the body so much, he’s more of a head hunter. I think he’ll outbox Casimero. He’s faster and more experienced even if he’s had less professional fights. Amant gained a lot of experience as an amateur.”

Jaro paid tribute to Amnat's conditioning adviser Sirichet Natt Puntipayanon, a university professor and sports science expert, for the champion's physical build-up. He also cited Amateur Boxing Association of Thailand president Gen. Taweep Jantaroj for paving the way for Amnat's transition to the professional ranks.

Jaro said he was surprised that Amnat had little difficulty beating previously undefeated Shiming with Freddie Roach in his corner in Macau last March. “We challenged Freddie’s ability,” said Jaro. “From the first round, I knew what would happen. Shiming never made any adjustment. We continued to do what was working for us until the end. Shiming scored a knockdown but I think it was a slip because there was no clean shot that landed. Shiming kept coming forward but wasn’t doing anything. Amnat jabbed and jabbed. I told him don’t get hurt, box and win it easy. The difference between Shiming and Casimero is power. Casimero can hit.”

Casimero, 25, is unbeaten in his last seven outings. The former IBF lightflyweight champion has a 21-2 record with 13 KOs compared to Amnat’s 15-0, with 5 KOs. Casimero has compiled wins in Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua and Argentina so he’s not allergic to fighting on hostile soil. He has fought only one Thai so far, Liampetch Sor Veerapol who was knocked out in five rounds in 2008. Jun Agrabio will be in his corner for the Amnat fight.

Amnat, 35, served a 15-year prison sentence for robbery before turning to boxing. He bowed to Filipino Harry Tanamor in the semifinals of the AIBA World Championships in Chicago in 2007 and bagged a bronze at the Asian Games in 2010. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Amnat won twice then lost to Mongolia’s Purevdorjiin Serdamba in the quarterfinals. The Thai captured the vacant IBF throne by outpointing Rocky Fuentes, his seventh Filipino victim, last year and has since repulsed three challengers.

Jaro’s other protégé Denver Cuello will face Indonesia’s Boy Tanto in the undercard. Cuello, 28, is the WBC’s No. 1 minimumweight. Two years ago, he entered the ring to meet China’s Xiong Zhao Zhong with a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder and lost a majority decision. Fighting with just his left hand, Cuello managed to floor Xiong in the first round but couldn’t finish him off. After the fight, Cuello underwent surgery to repair the damage in his shoulder and took a 16-month layoff. Cuello was on a sling for two months to immobilize his shoulder then had therapy for a year. He is now coming off back-to-back knockout wins. Cuello’s record is 35-5-6, with 23 KOs.

Jaro said WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has promised Cuello a title shot before the year ends. “Denver is the mandatory challenger,” said Jaro. “The WBC champion is Wanheng Menayothin of Thailand. We’ll go to a purse bidding to settle where to hold the fight. It could be in Thailand or the Philippines.”

Tanto, 29, is a tune-up opponent for Cuello. The Indonesian’s record is 9-16 with 1 KO. He’s been stopped in 10 fights. But Tanto has won four of his last six. He scored a 12-round decision over Melianus Mirin in his last outing in Jakarta five months ago. Cuello is expected to make short work of Tanto.

Photo: IBF flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (middle) with manager Aljoe Jaro (right) and WBC No. 1 minimumweight contender Denver Cuello.


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