AN AFTERNOON WITH TEAM CASIMERO
By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
Fri, 02 Sep 2016
CALOOCAN CITY, METRO MANILA- The afternoon heat in Metro Manila was getting unbearable but IBF flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero and trainer Jun Agrabio went through their training routine two days before they were scheduled to leave for England.
Casimero (22W-3L,14KO?s) will defend his IBF flyweight title for the first time against British boxer Charlie Edwards (8W-0L,3KO?s) at the Millennium Dome in London on the undercard of the WBC/IBF world middleweight title bout between Gennady Golovkin and Kell Brook.
Casimero will be battling the scales once again, but Trainer Agrabio is not worried, with his fighter already nearing the flyweight limit.
Casimero hit the punch mitts hard, and even blasted the mitts out of his trainer?s hands. Power has always been his asset, but what if the challenger chooses to hit and run.
?We are prepared for that,? Agrabio said, ?In fact, I am expecting that tactic. But twelve rounds is a long time and sooner or later, we?ll catch him. Besides, he is the challenger, he has to take to title away.?
?I am expecting him to run,? Casimero echoed, ?But I am not
?I have seen videos of his fight.? Casimero added, ?Amnat Ruenroeng and Armando Santos were better.?
Casimero won his second division title last May 25 by beating Thai Amnat Ruenroeng by knockout in the fourth round in Beijing,China. This was sweet vengeance for Casimero who lost to Ruenroeng by unanimous decision in a foul marred fight in Thailand last year.
?It was the referee who made the big difference in the rematch,? Agrabio told this writer. ?The referee in the first fight in Thailand could not control the fight and did not do anything about all the fouls. In the rematch, Amnat still committed fouls but the referee did not lose control , so we were able to do what we wanted to do.?
?We simply prepared better for the rematch.? Casimero added.
For the record, Tony Weeks was the referee in the rematch held in Beijing while Larry Doggett was the third man in the ring in the first fight held in Bangkok, Thailand.
Casimero also went through his afternoon exercises inside the Victory Mall in Caloocan City. He happily munched on an apple afterwards.
Last May3, 2014, he lost his IBF light flyweight title on the scales in Cebu City. But he still knocked out Colombian challenger Mauricio Fuentes in the opening round.
Agrabio also recalled Casimero?s difficulty to make weight in Beijing. He couldn?t even stand anymore, he was very weak from dehydration. But he told Agrabio just hold him, and he will try to run to lose weight.
?That was dangerous but I admire him for his courage. Casimero has a lot of heart. That is his biggest strength.? Agrabio said.
Agrabio is also known for guiding Marvin Sonsona to the WBO world super flyweight title in 2009.
Casimero?s dream fight is against Roman Gonzales of Nicaragua. He is willing to move up to 115 lbs if given the opportunity. Casimero also named South African Moruti Mthalane as his toughest opponent.
?I lacked preparation in that fight.? Casimero recalled, ?I had trouble adjusting to the altitude. I had trouble breathing. But Mthalane is a very skilled boxer.?
Casimero, who hails from Ormoc City, wants to defend his title in his hometown someday. He said that their new mayor, Richard Gomez, has shown willingness to sponsor a title fight in the future.
Team Casimero, together with Promoter Sammy Gello-ani, will leave for England on Sunday.
Photo above ? John Riel Casimero (right) with trainer Jhun Agrabio, below - Casimero hitting the mitts with Agrabio.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rene Bonsubre, Jr..
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