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News  


CASIMERO-SULTAN DUEL HEATS UP


PhilBoxing.com




CEBU CITY – Former two-division world champion Johnriel Casimero was cool as ice while reigning IBF Inter-Continetal super flyweight champ Jonas Sultan was a little tense when the two finally meet face to face in front of the Cebu media at St Mark's Hotel here Tuesday ahead of their IBF world super flyweight title eliminator on the undercard of the Milan Melindo vs Hekkie Budler IBF world junior flyweight championship at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino this coming Saturday.

“I respect [Jonas] Sultan as a tough Filipino fighter,” Casimero, 27, said. “But we'll see what he does at the top of the ring [this Saturday] because we have prepared something for him.”

Casimero (24-3-0, 15KOs), the road warrior, had won most of his world title fights in his enemy's backyard and decidedly is the favorite to win over Sultan and is looking forward for bigger fights. “We have been positioning so we could fight [Chocolatito] Gonzalez. But he lost last weekend. He was not moving like he used to. We are going to target any of the winners,” Casimero said who now set his sights on Thai star Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Mexico's Juan Francisco Estrada or Japan's Naoya Inoue, provided of course he gets past Sultan this Saturday.


Jonas Sultan (L) and Johnriel Casimero pose during their presscon Tuesday at St. Mark's Hotel in Cebu City.

“Initially I was surprised to learn that I would be fighting Casimero,” Sultan, 25, said. “But I am happy for this opportunity. I want to win this fight badly. I will give my all to win this fight on Saturday."

Sultan (13-3-0, 9KOs) had an impressive run by stopping his last four opponents including Tatsuya Ikemizu of Japan, Makazole Tete of South Africa and former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro of the Philippines.

Sultan, the IBF No. 8 ranked super flyweight, got the call to face the No. 3-ranked Casimero when No. 4 Toshiyuki Igarashi of Japan, No. 5 Jamie Conlan of the UK, No. 6 Rex Tso of Hong Kong and No. 7 Aston Palicte of the Philippines waived their rights to face Casimero.

The winner of the Casimero-Sultan fight will become the No. 1 challenger to Jerwin Ancajas, the Filipino IBF super flyweight champion. An all-Filipino world title fight will be historical since the last this had happened was when Pancho Villa defended his flyweight belt against Clever Sencio in Manila in 1925.

However, Casimero's promoter Sammy Gello-ani, who also promotes Ancajas, said they may look for another opponent for Casimero instead of fighting Ancajas. “If Johnriel wins [against Sultan], we're going to see first all the options out there. We might not fight Jerwin. Fighting Jamie Conlan instead is a possibility while waiting for our opportunity to fight the big names of the division,” Gello-ani said.

The mouth-watering matchup will showcase grizzled veteran in Casimero against a rising young lion in Sultan and this early, this fight is shaping to be an all-Filipino classic. The duo will meet again during the 'Pinoy Pride 42' final press conference on Thursday at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Dong Secuya.


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