CASIMERO, RIOS PROMISE VICTORY DURING TODAY'S PRESSCON IN PANAMA (PHOTOS)
By Carlos Costa
14 Mar 2013
PANAMA CITY, Panama - Both Filipino IBF Jr. Flyweight World Champion Johnriel Casimero and mandatory challenger Luis Alberto “Pan Blanco” Rios, promised victory during the final presscon of their title clash this Saturday night (Sunday morning in the Philippines) at the plush newly built Megapolis Convention Center of the Hard Rock Hotel here in Panama City, Panama.
"I feel much respect for Rios, but I came to Panama to win. I will retain my title," said the 22-year-old Filipino from the seaside city of Ormoc in western Leyte.
Meanwhile, challenger Luis "Pan Blanco" Rios, also 22-year-old, shared that his preparation and conditioning training will make him victorious. "I have worked so hard to become the boxing world champion #30 born in Panama."
In the co-main event is another clash between Philippines and Panama. John Mark “Iceman” Apolinario of Maasin, Sarangani (in the Philippines southern island of Mindanao), will clash again with nemesis former 2-division world champion Roberto “La Araña” Vasquez of Panama for the WBA interim bantamweight title. The two fought to a draw last November in Argentina. “This time, things will be different,” said Apolinario. “I know him. I know I can defeat Vasquez.”
PHOTOS BY CARLOS COSTA.
Top photo: Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz (C) poses with the Filipino contingent.
Casimero and Rios face to face.
Casimero and Rios.
Apolinario and Vazquez.
Herrera and Rios.
Gello-ani, Apolinario and Yraola.
Lewkowicz, the promoter of this event.
L-R: Apolinario, Gello-ani, Costa and Casimero.
After the presscon, the Filipinos were treated to a VIP tour to the Panama Canal and in the evening will have dinner with Panama boxing legend Roberto Duran.
“We are excited and happy here in Panama,” said Filipino promoter Sammy Gello-Ani. The kindness of Panama people is overwhelming, the hotel is great, the food is masarap and the weather is just like Cebu. Of course, we’d like to come back.”
“Weight for our fighters are under control. No worries at all and we are eating well,” shared Christopher “Ping Ping” Tepura, head trainer of Casimero.
Apolinario’s manager shared that after eating, Apolinario weighted 121 lbs. “Good,” said the experienced Sammy Gello-Ani. “We have two days ahead of the weight-in. Apolinario should come down nice and easy and on fight night he will be strong and fast to become world champion.”
Casimero is accompanied by Angel Dela Merced, Juan Pablo Castillo of Omega Pain Killer and trainer Ping Ping Tepura, while Apolinario is with his young manager Rajan Yraola. Sammy Gello-Ani, promoter of both boxers, handles both fighters.
The promoter of the card is Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing, also promoter of the best middleweight in the world, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez.
VIP Tickets costing USD 250 (PHP 10,160 Filipino Pesos) are sold out. Only the lower priced tickets can still be found. General Admission per person has a price of USD 100 (one hundred US Dollars).
The card, in which two Filipinos compete in world title fights, will be broadcast LIVE in the Philippines on ABS CBN at 11am. “The source signal from Panama will need two satellite connections to get to the Philippines,” said Panama TV producer JC Tapia Rosas.
The card will be seen also in the USA and Latin America on TyC Sports, Sky TV and in Panama on Panama Sport Channel TV Max.
The next appointment is the official IBF weigh-in ceremony at the Megapolis Convention Center of the Hard Rock Hotel Friday at 3pm (Panama Time), event in which fighters are required to make no more than 108 lbs.
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