by Ronnie Nathanielsz
IBF light flyweight champion Johnreil Casimero will defend his title against Colombia’s Mauricio Fuentes at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City on May 3.
Promoter Sammy Gello-ani who partners with international promoter and matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz told the BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that “this is a sacrificial promotion just to make it happen. We just helped one another with the management of Omega (who manage Casimero) and my co-promoter Sampson Lewkowicz for the mandatory defense of Casimero.”
Gello-ani said the fight is likely to be telecast by ABC 5 which negotiated with the owners of Omega pain killer.
He said “everything is in place and I have already got the tickets of Fuentes who will arrive on April 30 with his trainer Alvinio Martinez.”
Gello-ani said Casimero has been training after lying low for a while when his fight with Fuentes was postponed since they couldn’t get a network or sponsors to cover their costs.
They apparently reduced the budget just so Casimero could defend his title in the Philippines.
When we spoke to Casimero who was one of the top awardees at the 14th Flash Elorde Annual Boxing Awards on Tuesday, he appeared confident of retaining his title but Gello-ani reminded him “not to be over-confident because although Fuentes has not established a good name yet, this is boxing and he may have something to deliver.
Gello-ani said Casimero”s “ His training will still be hard” even as he recalled what happened to WBO minimum weight champion Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo who was badly beaten by Francisco Rodriguez Jr in Monterrey, Mexico last Sunday.
Casimero is being trained by former boxer Pingping Tepura with Brian Polina as strength and conditioning coach as well as the brother of Tepura who is also helping him.
Casimero who has a record of 19-2 with 11 knockouts won the title with a rousing 10th round TKO of Argentina's Luis Lazarte on February 10m 2012 in a clash that was marred by a post-fight riot in which Casimero and his handlers were hurt
In his last title defense Casimero scored a smashing 11th round TKO over Felipe Salguero of Mexico on October 26, 2013 in Makati City.
Fuentes who is from Colombia has a record of 16-2 with 10 knockouts and has won 13 straight fights after dropping a six round unanimous decision to countryman Jorlie Estrada on August 22, 2009. Estrada subsequently suffered a crushing 9th round, one punch knockouyt at the hands of "Tiger" Sabillo in Sabillo's title defense at the Solaire Resort and Casino along Manila Bay on July 13, 2013.Tags: Johnreil Casimero