By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Young Johnriel Casimero is “very comfortable and relaxed” according to well-known promoter Sammy Gello-ani on the eve of his IBF light flyweight interim title fight against former champion Luis “El Mosquito” Alberto Lazarte of Argentina.
At the official weigh-in today (Friday in Manila) supervised by IBF official Anibal Miramontes, Casimero came in at 106.7 pounds while Lazarte tipped the scales at 107.4.
The 22 year old Casimero (15-2, 9 KO’s) earlier said he is ready to slug it out if he has to when he faces the 40 year old Lazarte (49-10-2, 18 KO’s) for the vacant 108 pound title at Estadio Club Once Unidos, Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina promoted by OR Promotion of Osvaldo Rivero tomorrow, Manila Time.
Gello-ani told the Manila Standard that “Both fighters immediately took their food which was brought during weigh-in and after that personally attended the rules meeting as requested by IBF Referee Eddie Claudio of the United States.
Claudio wanted “both fighters to know exactly what are the rules allowed and not allowed which was done in Spanish for Lazarte and English for Casimero by Eddie Mercado.” Members of both fighters teams were present at the rules meeting.
Following the rules meeting Gello-ani said they took Casimero to a downtown restaurant where he ate fish and Pochero soup after which he returned to the hotel, rested for 2 hours, had a one hour massage and at 8.30p.m. took his dinner of vegetable soup, fried chicken and fish.....
Gello-ani said that during dinner Casimero spoke of “his dream for his future and that of his family” which the promoter said was “ a good sign of maturity of a fighter who now has an ambition.”
Casimero’s game-plan worked out together with trainer Christopher "Pingping" Tepora Jr, head coach of Omega Boxing Gym is “ just to box Lazarte and be conscious of Lazarte tactics, using his head and concentrating on the body to soften Lazarte and finish the fight early”.
The three judges appointed by the IBF are Eugene Grant, Richard Green and Don Trella all from the US. Trella was one of the judges who officiated in the WBO super bantamweight title fight between Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr in which Trella scored the fight for the Filipino 117-110.