By Ronnie Nathanielsz
IBF light flyweight interim-champion Johnriel Casimero will finally receive his championship belt which is being personally hand-carried by well-known international promoter Sampson Lewkowicz, the partner of Filipino promoter Sammy Gello-ani.
Gello-ani told the Manila Standard that the presentation of the IBF championships belt will take place at 11:00 a.m. at the SM Activity Center in Cebu. Leowkowicz is scheduled to arrive in Cebu at 6:45 p.m. today (Wednesday.)
The 22 year old Filipino was unable to receive his IBF belt or even have his hand raised in victory by American referee Claudio because of a nasty post-fight riot after the referee stopped the bout in the 10th round and declared Casimero winner by TKO over former champion Luis Lazarte.
Casimero had dropped Lazarte twice in the 9th round of a foul-infested fight and dropped Lazarte once more in the 10th round and had him against the ropes with a flurry of punches before the referee called a halt sparking a full-scale riot.
Casimero, his promoter Samm Gello-ani and trainer Christopher “Pingping” Tepora as well as Sean Gibbons of Top Rank were assaulted by members of the truckers union of which Lazarte is a member with Casimero being bundled under the ring until police restored some semblance of order.
Meantime, Lazarte has been banned for life by IBF president Daryl Peoples for threatening the referee during the fight in which he bit Casimero on two seperate occasions.The Argentine Boxing Federation president Osvaldo Bisbal also suspended Lazarte indefinitely.
Lewkowicz is likely to provide details of Casimero's first title defense and John Mark Apolinario’s clash with 25 year old Hugo “Little Twin” Ruiz (29-1, 26 KO’s) for the WBA bantamweight interim title.
The 22 year old Apolinario has a record of 17-2-1 with 4 knockouts.