By Ronnie Nathanielsz
IBF light flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero (16-2, 10 KO’s) is determined to defend his title when he takes on undefeated Mexican Pedro Guevara (18-0-1, 13 KO’s) at the Convention Center in Guevara’s hometown of Mazatlan, Sinaloa. Mexico on Saturday night.
In a final press conference Casimero said “I got this title the hard way” (referring to his 10th round TKO over Luis Lazarte in Argentina which was marred by a post-fight riot) and I will not allow it to be taken away.”
Casimero added “I know that I will be facing a young and strong opponent. I know he is coming to win but I will not let him. I am here to defend what is mine, a title I won outside of my country and I will defend it again outside of my country.”.
Casimero was overjoyed to learn that Filipinos can watch the title fight which will be telecast at 1:00 p.m. on AKTV IBC 13 on Sunday.
Guevara admitted that the fight is a big step up in his career and he wants to prove to his countrymen that he has it in him to become a world champion and had prepared himself well for the challenge.
Well known promoter Sammy Gell-ani said no less than IBF president Darryl Peoples will be the fight supervisor with Ramon Corona of California as referee. The judges assigned are all Americans – Levi Martinez of New Mexico, Matthew Podgorski of Chicago and Dr. Ruben Garcia of Texas.
Garcia came under fire for his scorecard in favor of Wilfredo Vazquez Jr who was dropped once and given a bad beating by Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire who won the WBO super bantamweight title in San Antonio, Texas in February this year.
Casimero said he was used to fighting abroad and that defending his title in Mexico is no problem. He said “its just like fighting in my homeland with the same kind of opponent. It does not affect me in any way and I am focused on my plan on how to defend my title.”
Gello-ani disclosed that Casimero checked out the official scale and was merely one pound over the 108 limit. He said “that’s no problem..”
Promoter Oswaldo Kuchle personally assured Team Casimero that what happened in Argentina “will never happen in Mexico considering that Mexicans are a peace loving people and know the sport of boxing.”