Road warrior Casimero back in the ring
By Bill Tibbs
John Riel Casimero, boxing’s true road warrior and (multiple) world champion, returns to work on September 26 on the Charlo brothers world championship card in Uncasville, Connecticut.
This will be the 3rd title defense for the talented WBO world bantamweight champion who has wrapped a world title around his waist 4 times in his outstanding and colorful career. Casimero will meet Ghana’s hard-hitting, New York-based Duke Micah who comes into the ring sporting a perfect 24-0 (19 KO’s) Ledger; Casimero enters the ring at 29-4 (20 KO’s).
Casimero hails from the Philippines but has been a world champion in the truest sense of the word having stepped through the ropes in Nicaragua, Mexico, South Africa, The Philippines, Thailand, China, England and the United States, to name but a few of his globe-trotting locales. Casimero’s passport supports the fact that he is indeed a ‘world’ champion - set up the ring and he shows up.
The location means little to the proud Philippine warrior and he will have no problem adding Connecticut to his travel resume. Casimero is facing a hard punching, undefeated fighter in Micah who is getting the opportunity of a lifetime and he plans to make the most of it. Casimero, coming off of 2 impressive stoppage wins since winning the title in stopping Ricardo Franco in the last round of their WBO bantamweight title fight in April of 2019, knows a win leads to bigger and better things in the division.
In short, both fighters will be very motivated to walk out of the ring with that belt.
This will be Casimero’s 16th world title fight in his 33-fight, 13-year career. He first won a world title all the way back in 2009 when he captured the world light flyweight title. After losing it in his 1st title defense, he recaptured it on his 2nd try 3 fights later in 2012.
He would make 4 defenses of that title before losing it to Amnet Ruonroeng in 2016. He would regain the title in the rematch and defend it against England’s Charlie Edwards before moving up in weight. After putting together 4 straight wins, he captured the WBO bantamweight title, his 4th world championship, in April of last year. Now making his 3rd world title defense, (in his 4th title run), Casimero is seen as one of boxing’s most exciting, battle-tested and experienced veterans. However, he knows he can’t overlook a fighter like Micah, even if the challenger would appear to be the underdog going into the fight.
Maxboxing caught up with Casimero handler Sean Gibbons, at home in Las Vegas, to get his thoughts on the upcoming title defence for his champion and where he sees the popular 118-pound star.
"John Riel is in for a tough fight here but he is very anxious to get in the ring and put title defense number 3 in the bank," said an enthused Gibbons. "We had a fight lined up with Japanese star Naoya Inoue but that fight couldn’t be made. This Covid situation is making things tough for everyone, but we finally buttoned this fight down and he’s very excited to get in the ring," continued Gibbons. "Micah is a tough, aggressive fighter with power, he’ll be coming at John and the is expecting a tough fight," said Gibbons.
"But, like he has done throughout his career, he is in great shape, he is motivated and he is going to be ready to defend his title. Casimero has a lot of power, he can turn out a guy’s lights with the right shot. But, people have to remember, this guy is a very experienced and talented boxer, he knows how to move, set guys up, create shots from different angles; he is a very talented boxer, he has a very well-rounded game," said Gibbons.
"And, he is going to show that in Connecticut. Micah is undefeated, and clearly he can punch, but he’s stepping into the big leagues on the 26th against one of boxing’s best – Casimero is going to show fans again why he is a multiple world champion and why he is one of the best,"added Gibbons.