Casimero KO Victim Gives Scares to Ex Unified 122 Lbs Champ Danny Roman
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Tue, 18 May 2021
Ricardo Espinoza (R) went up against Danny Roman.
Recently we got somewhat a gauge of how Johnriel Casimero would fare if he moves up in weight to the super bantamweight through a former Mexican knockout victim of him who nearly scored an upset in a slambang post Cinco de Mayo fight card in California.
Not only Brandon Figueroa and Luis Nery put up a classic Mexican style fisticuff last weekend where the undefeated WBA super bantamweight world champion “Heartbreaker” Figueroa scored a career-best victory and captured the WBC title with a seventh round knockout of Nery Saturday night at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
In the main supporting undercard, former unified world super bantamweight champion, Daniel Roman (29-3-1, 10KO) overcame a scare from former world title challenger, Ricardo Espinoza (25-4, 21KO). Espinoza showed no respect to Roman in the earlier rounds and came out throwing caution to the wind at Roman who got off to a slow start.
According to Fightnews, through four rounds it looked like an even fight but Roman started to pull away as the rounds wore on. By the later rounds, Roman’s accurate counterpunching left Espinoza a bloody mess and, at times, Roman visibly hurt Espinoza.
Roman, clearly ahead, did not take unnecessary chances late in the fight but still landed enough hard shots that deterred Espinoza from mustering much of a strong finish. The judges had it 98-92, 97-93 and 98-92 for Roman who is the WBC mandatory challenger for the Luis Nery vs Brandon Figueroa winner but later it was announced that WBO champion, Stephen Fulton who is set for the Nery-Figueroa winner in September.
At the end, it was a hugely entertaining fight fought in fan friendly Mexican style, Fightnews reported.
Dignity was a familiar venue for Espinoza as it was here that he fought Casimero in a WBO bantamweight interim title fight cum eliminator in April 2019 which turned out to be an action bout between two boxer punchers. After a competitive going, Casimero broke through in the last round, seriously hurting Espinoza and eventually stopping the game Mexican.
Casimero would go on to win the WBO regular belt stopping South Africa's Zolani Tete in the third round in Birmingham, UK later in 2019.
Espinoza, a TeleMundo TV favorite also known for his alias as El Hindu, said the Casimero loss made him a stronger fighter psychologically saying that the result would be different if he meets Casimero again.
He claimed that he might have not rested and physically prepared for Casimero because he had a fight the month before he met the Filipino. "Casimero was lucky that night because I was the more effective fighter and I thought I would have gotten the decision if the fight had not been stopped," Espinoza said in a phone interview with the Ring Magazine.
Anyway, Espinoza bounced back from the defeat by scoring a couple of huge wins in the super bantamweight prior to meeting Danny Roman.
The Roman-Espinoza fight seemed to whet the crowd's appetite for the main event Figueroa vs Nery bout.
Figueroa vindicated himself among the doubters by engaging Nery in a dog fight from the very first round, trading power shots with him until he determined his opponent's weak point, the body.
“It feels amazing, this is a dream come true,” said Figueroa. “I know everyone doubted me, but here I am with the belt. It’s all thanks to hard work and dedication.”
“The plan was to break him. My corner told me to pressure him and that he wouldn’t last. That’s exactly what happened. I knew he was getting tired, he was trying to box me. I saw him breathing heavy. My team just said it was time to go get him.”
“You saw tonight what I can do. I brought it to him and the hard work paid off. We did our homework. We did a great job in the gym and just took it to him.”
Casimero is set to meet Guillermo Rigondeaux in a unification bout this August with his WBO bantamweight belt and the Cuban's secondary WBA belt on the line.
Johnriel has been chasing a fight with Naoya Inoue, the WBA super and IBF as well as Ring Magazine lineal world bantamweight titlist since last year.
If Casimero got past Rigondeaux, a former undefeated world super bantamweight champion and still not get Inoue in the ring with him, it is not a farfetched idea that he entertain campaigning at 122 lbs next year.
At least through Espinoza, we now have an idea how Casimero would fare up there, even against so called the Mexican style.
The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at email@example.com and by phone 09215309477.
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