By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Johnriel Casimero worked out shortly after a long and tiring flight from Cebu to the resort city of Mar del Plata, Argentina for his battle with former IBF light flyweight champion Luis Lazarte in an interim title fight on February 10 at Club Once Unidos in Buenos Aires.
Well known promoter Sammy Gello-ani told the Manila Standard that upon their arrival, Casimero "immediately worked out at Champions Gym for some 90 minutes."
Gello-ani said Casimero was three pounds over the light flyweight limit of 108 but would have no problems making the weight for Thursday’s weigh-in.
He said “The long flight has not affected Casimero who departed Cebu last Saturday Feb. 4 so much, since we rested in countries where we had stopovers.”
Gello-ani said they are well taken care of by Argentine promoter Osvaldo Rivero.
He disclosed that despite the fact that his younger brother died due to a heart problem the day before he left, Casimero “is focused on his upcoming title fight.” Gello-ani added that Casimero is “using it as a motivation to achieve something big.”
Casimero who has a record of 15-2 with 9 knockouts suffered his first setback when he lost his WBO interim title by a unanimous decision to Ramon Garcia and after a layoff of seven months moved up to flyweight but lost by a 5th round TKO to reigning IBF champion Moruti Mthalane in Johannesburg, South Africa.
After taking another break from boxing Casimero returned to score a 2nd round knockout of T.I. Yamagata Sentillas at the Hoops Dome in Lapu Lapu City last October 15 which earned him another shot at the IBF interim title.
Lazarte has a record of 49-10-2 with 18 knockouts. He won the title from Carlos Tamara who in turn grabbed it with a 12th round TKO of Brian Viloria at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City in a Solar Sports promotion.
Lazarte won a foul-ridden, controversial title defense against Edgar Sosa but lost a unanimous decision and the title in a rematch.