by Ronnie Nathanielsz
The chairman of the International Boxing Federation Championship Committee insists that contrary to some claims, Johnriel Casimero is only the IBF junior flyweight interim champion and not the full champion.
Lindsey Tucker told the Manila Standard that reports Casimero is the champion are “totally false.”
Tucker explained that if Ulises Solis “can’t come back at the end of his Medical Exception” which is by October 31, 2012, “then Casimero will be declared the champion.”
He said “however, if Solis is able to come back in the time frame allotted, he must fight Casimero.
Tucker disclosed that the winner of the Solis-Casimero mandatory title fight “will be the champion and the interim title will disappear.”
Tucker clarified that Solis is the recognized IBF junior flyweight champion but could not defend the title against mandatory challenger Luis Lazarte of Argentina who lost by a 10th round TKO to Casimero in a foul-infested bout followed by an ugly, post-fight riot by Lazarte’s supporters in which Casimero, promoter Sammy Gello-ani and members of the team were assaulted by fans with chairs and other objects.
The Championship Committee chairman Solis was unable to defend his title because “his jaw was broken in 2 places by Canelo Alvarez (the WBC super welterweight champion). Therefore, Solis could not defend the title against mandatory challenger Lazarte within the IBF’s time frame” which, according to Tucker, was on or before January 31, 2012
It was then that the IBF ordered an interim title fight between No. 1 ranked Lazarte and No.3 ranked Casimero since no fighter had been ranked No.2.
Tucker made it clear that “If Solis can’t come back within 9 (nine) months of his mandatory, Casimero will be declared the IBF junior flyweight champion.” He said Solis “must defend the title before October 31, 2012.”the nine month
Tucker's statement is not likely to put a damper on the hero's welcome planned for Casimero who overcame the loss of a younger brother one day before leaving for the fight and demonstrated courage in the face of adversity to win the interim title in rousing fashion.
A motorcade and press conference awaited Casimero and his team on their scheduled arrival in Cebu at 3:50 this afternoon.