by Ronnie Nathanielsz
IBF light flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero who retained his title by a split decision in a close fight with previously undefeated Pedro Guevara of Mexico is willing to defend his title against anyone, anywhere.
Casimero spoke to the Manila Standard shortly after his team’s arrival in Los Angeles from Mexico City following his win last Satured in a fight telecast by AKTV IBC 13.
Casimero who returns home on Wednesday morning along with promoter Sammy Gello-ani and trainer Christopher “Pingping” Tempora said “I will fight anywhere but it depends on what is best. No matter where they want me to go I will go and fight.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and his wife Lovee will be on the same PAL flight to Manila.
Gello-ani told us he would wish to stage Casimero’s next optional title defense in Manila and said he would meet with ABC 5 top executives led by Bobby Barriero after his arrival to discuss the possibility of staging a title defense in Manila.
Gello-ani conceded that fighting abroad which is what Casimero has been forced to do because of the inability to get the necessary sponsors and financial backing to stage a fight in Manila “is a big responsibility and a big risk. For me, defending the title in Mexico was a calculated risk. I really gambled but I’m happy we won and now Casimero is always smiling.”
The well-known promoter admitted that Casimero will have to do better in his next fight and “has to do a lot of things to improve.”
Casimero himself said he “didn’t throw enough punches but the problem was that Guevara kept running.”
He also said he has to learn how to cut off the ring against a backpedaling opponent as well as to improve his timing and distance.