CASIMERO, AKAHO MAKE WEIGHT IN INCHEON
By Dong Secuya
Fri, 02 Dec 2022
Former three-time world champion John Riel Casimero of the Philippines and former two-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho of Japan successfully made weight Friday afternoon at the Paradise City Plaza Hotel in Incheon, South Korea for their 10-round superbantam non-title fight scheduled tomorrow, Saturday, in the same venue.
Casimero (31-4-0, 21KOs), who held world titles at flyweight, super flyweight and bantamweight, stepped the scales at 121.2 lbs while Akaho (39-2-2, 26KOs) came in at 121.7 lbs. Casimero will be fighting at superbantam for the first time while Akaho who is 2-inches taller than Casimero at 5'6", was fighting in the super bantamweight division since 2018. He previously campaigned at super flyweight and bantamweight. He lost to compatriot Yota Sato for the WBC superfly title in 2012 and also lost to Panya Utok (Pungluang Sor Singyu) of Thailand for the WBO bantamweight title in 2015.
Casimero captured the WBO bantamweight title from South African Zolani Tete with a sensational 3rd round knockout victory in Birmingham, UK in 2019. He successfully defended it twice against Duke Micah of Ghana in 2020 and against highly regarded Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba in 2021, both in the United States. He was supposed to defend the belt against Paul Butler of England in December, 2021 but the fight was scrapped after Casimero failed to show up during the weighin after he allegedly contacted a stomach virus. The fight was re-scheduled in April 2022 in Liverpool, England but was again scrapped after the British Boxing Board of Control refused to sanction the fight following the discovery that Casimero was trying to cut off weight in a sauna which was prohibited by the boxing regulatory board.
Casimero was later stripped of his title by the WBO and compatriot Jonas Sultan fought Butler instead as a late replacement. Butler went on to win the fight and will now be fighting pound-for-pound Japanese monster Naoya Inoue for the undisputed bantamweight title with the four championship belts - WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO at stake scheduled on Dec. 12 at Ariake Arena Koto-ku, Japan.
It would have been a Inoue-Casimero megafight happening next week which had been brewing hot for some time but the flamboyant 'QuadroAlas' from Ormoc City, always unpredictable throughout his career, screwed the script badly.
At least, this time, it seems, the fight tomorrow against Akaho is sure to push through. But it may take some time for Casimero, now 35 years old, to recapture his old glory, if he ever will.
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