by Ronnie Nathanielsz
After some two months of back-and-forth negotiations with prospects for IBF light flyweight champion Johnreil Casimero’s title defense in the Philippines looking good, the Manila Standard has been informed that Araneta has pulled out of its 50-50 partnership with ABC 5 on promoting the fight at the Big Dome.
The requirement of staging the fight late Sunday morning to catch Saturday night audiences in Mexico in particular forced the hand of Smart Araneta who ran through the prospective attendance figures which they felt would not cover 50 percent of the total expenses estimated at $200,000 because of a blockbuster supporting card featuring top rated Froilan “The Sniper” Saludar and former world champion Marvin “Marvelous” Sonsona among others.
Another factor was the last-minute decision to pass on the task of selling the TV coverage of the FIBA Asia Championships to ABC 5 from the rights holders Solar Sports.
Marketing the television coverage of two big ticket items on ABC 5 was simply too much to handle and the boxing world title fight in the end lost out to basketball, with the Philippine quest for a place in next year’s world championship a more exciting prospect a tough but somewhat easier sell.
Promoter Sammy Gello-ani hasn’t responded to the news as yet since he is in Mexico but it would mean that Casimero will once again be forced to defend his title, like he’s done in the past, in his opponents hometown.
Casimero was scheduled to face No. 3 ranked Mexican slugger Juanito Hernandezwho has a record of 22-2 with 16 knockouts.