By Carlos Costa
In an official letter dated August 8, 2012, the International Boxing Federation (IBF) advised that the mandatory challenger for IBF light flyweight world champion Filipino Johnriel Casimero would be decided from the eliminator fight between the highest ranked fighters in the division, Mexican Javier "La Cobra" Mendoza (left) and Luis Alberto "Pan Blanco" Ríos of Panama.
The official document signed by Lindsey E. Tucker, Jr., IBF Championships Chairman, addressed to the managers of the fighters states as follows:
"#3 Luis Alberto Ríos (of Panama) and #4 Javier Mendoza (of México) are the two highest ranked available contenders in the IBF Jr. Flyweight division. In an effort to determine who the mandatory challenger will be, the IBF is ordering that an elimination bout should be held between Ríos and Mendoza for the number 1 position. The winner will become #1 and the mandatory challenger (of world champion Johnriel Casimero)."
Therefore, "La Cobra" Mendoza (19-2-1, 16KO's) of Tijuana, a protégé of legendary fighter Eric "El Terrible" Morales, and Panamanian Luis "Pan Blanco" Rios (17-1-1, 12KO's), handled by Panama's top boxing promotion company Promociones y Eventos del Istmo, will be taking part in the eliminatory bout and negotiations between both camps are already underway.
Mendoza, who won the WBC Continental Americas light flyweight (108 lbs) last February, comes from a last week's victory over fellow Mexican Christian Aguilar in Mazatlán. "La Cobra" has won his last six fights by way of knock out.
Meanwhile, the 22 year-old Panamanian "Pan Blanco" Rios, who has also won his last six fights by way of knock out, is the current WBC Latino champion, title that he captured by knocking out Colombian Luis Carrillo last April at the Roberto Durán Arena in Ciudad de Panamá.
"La Cobra" Mendoza and "Pan Blanco" Ríos have only fought in their respective countries. The date and place of their eliminator combat is being decided.
Regarding this important development in the career of Johnriel Casimero (17-2, 10KO's), well-respected analyst Dong Secuya, the creator of PhilBoxing.com, commented to this author:
"Casimero was very recently elevated to world champion and just last week made his first title defense. His title was earned under very difficult circumstances in Argentina. So I wonder why so much rush to impose a 'mandatory challenger' on him?"