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CASIMERO BATTLES MTHALANE FOR IBF FLYWEIGHT TITLE


PhilBoxing.com



Johnriel Casimero.

Promising Johnriel Casimero will battle Moruti Mthalane for the IBF champion’s flyweight title in a championship double-header titled “African Glory 2” in Johannesburg, South Africa on March 26.


In the co-main event of well-known promoter Branco Milenkovic, IBF junior featherweight champion Steve Molitor (33-1, 12 KO’s) will defend his title against Takalani “The Panther” Ndlovu (31-6, 18 KO’s).

Filipino promoter Sammy Gello-ani informed the Inquirer that he had decided to move Casimero from light flyweight where he was ranked No. 6 by the World Boxing Organization to flyweight for the title shot at Mthalane.

Gello-ani said Casimero “is now in high gear training in Cebu and we will be departing on March 20 for South Africa.”

Mthalane who is 28 years old has a record of 26-2 with 17 knockouts. IBF executive Lindsey Tucker said the fight was “an optional defense” by Mthalane. One of the little South African’s losses was against then IBF/IBO flyweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire who won by a 6th round TKO on November 1, 2008 after blooding his nose and opening up a nasty cut on his eye.

Mthalane won the IBF title with a unanimous twelve round decision over Julio Cesar “Pingo” Miranda on November 20, 2009. Miranda later went on to win the WBO title with a 5th round TKO over Richie Mepranum on June 12, 2010 . In his last defense Mthalane scored a 5th round TKO over Zolani Tete on September 1, 2010.

The 21 year old Casimero who has a record of 14-1 with 8 knockouts dropped a split decision in a WBO light flyweight interim title fight to Ramon Garcia Hirales in Sinaloa, Mexico on July 24, 2010.

Prior to that Casimero scored a sensational 11th round TKO over heavily favored Cesar Canchilla, dropping him once in rounds 3, 6, 9 and twice in round 11 in a WBO interim title fight on December 19, 2009.

Respected boxing analyst Graham Houston reported “That fight showed that Casimero is able to fight well away from home. He is a fast, fluid boxer-puncher with what I describe in my notes on him as having “cat-like” moves. The win over Canchila has been recoded as a TKO, but Casimero blasted his Colombian opponent to the canvas with a left hook followed by a huge right hand, and the referee waved the finish without bothering to count. Canchila was well and truly out. ”

Casimero’s win also impressed WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel who, during the Donaire-Fernando Montiel fight in Las Vegas last February 19 inquired about Casimero and said he was “one of the biggest punchers I ever saw in the lower weight divisions. He was terrific.”

Reacting to Valcarcel’s statement, Gello-ani said it was “nice to hear that ‘Paco’ still remembers Casimero. Very true. He still believes Casimero has a chance to be back and that is why he is still highly rated in the WBO.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.


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