By Dennis Principe
As expected, dethroned light flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero made mincemeat of overmatched challenger Mauricio Fuentes of Colombia in their 12-round clash Saturday night at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu.
Casimero, who weighed in five pounds over the 108lb limit, dropped Fuentes three times in the opening round en route to a first round stoppage that ended at 2:59. The result was expected as Casimero entered the ring as basically a super flyweight being pitted against a light flyweight challenger in an apparent mismatch.
What made it worse was the fact that both the local and world title commissions allowed Casimero to wear eight ounce gloves. Typically, overweight fighters are still allowed to fight but has\ve to wear 10-ounce gloves.
"I expected this win but I did not expect to score a quick knockout," said Casimero.
Looking at the flyweight landscape, Casimero should not expect a quick title shot as all current champions are looking at marquee fights that involve established flyweight challengers. Estrada for one is again being groomed by promoter Top Rank to a possible rematch opposite Hawaiian Brian Viloria sometime this year in Macau. Estrada snatched those twin belts from Viloria in an exciting title match last year also in Macau. Current IBF ruler Amnat Ruenrong is reportedly the main target of Chinese boxing superstar Zou Shiming in a planned title faceoff before the end of the year. On the other hand World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi of Japan is due for a highly-anticipated match versus undefeated Nicaraguan superstar Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez.
Meanwhile, the trainer of Casimero refuted insinuations that discipline has something to do with his failure to make the weight. Christopher "Ping Ping" Tepora said they did every possible regimen to lose weight but eventually gave up to reality that their fighter has started to outgrow the division.
"Another factor was this title defense was postponed three times and Johnriel probably had serious reservations if this fight would really push through or not," said Tepura.
With the victory Casimero improves to 20-2 with 12 knockouts while Fuentes, who fought outside of Colombia for only the first time drops to 16-3, 10 KO's.