CASIMERO TARGETS THE BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION
By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
Fri, 15 Feb 2019
METRO MANILA – Former two division champion John Riel Casimero is looking forward to a more busy 2019. Casimero (25-4, 16KO’s) will have his first bout in seven months, his second since the 2017 loss to countryman Jonas Sultan, this Saturday when he battles Japanese Kenya Yamashita (13-4,10KO’s) on the undercard of the WBO Oriental title fight between Dave Peñalosa (14-0,10KO’s) and Marcos Cardenas (19-6-1,15KO’s).
Casimero won by second round TKO against Jose Pech in Tijuana, Mexico last year. His unanimous decision loss to Sultan in Cebu City was an IBF superflyweight eliminator which led to Sultan getting a title shot against Jerwin Ancajas. The shocking upset left Casimero reeling and pondering the direction of his career. The lone fight last year did not do anything to boost his morale. Even a hour before the weigh-in in his fight against Yamashita, Casimero still couldn’t gibe this writer a clear answer as to why he lost to Sultan.
But Casimero is looking to the future. “I am going after the bantamweight title holders. Before Ancajas moves up to 118, I will be going for the big fights before he does.”
Casimero is also not taking his Japanese opponent for granted, “He has a high KO percentage. So I know this will not be an easy fight. But I can promise the fans this will be a good one.”
In his last fight, Yamashita stopped Filipino John Mark Apolinario in three rounds at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. Casimero and Yamashita both weighed in at 118 lbs during the official weigh-in held today at the ESPN 5 studios.
Casimero captured the WBO interim light flyweight title in 2009, the IBF light flyweight world title in 2012 and the IBF world flyweight title in 2016. He has beaten the likes of Luis Alberto Rios, Pedro Guevara, Amnat Ruenroeng and Charlie Edwards.
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