IBF light flyweight champ Johnriel Casimero retained his title after a split decision against previously undefeated Pedro Guevara of Mexico. Confident from his win, Johnriel expressed his willingness to defend his title against anyone and anywhere.
“I will fight anywhere but it depends on what is best. No matter where they want me to go, I will go and fight,” the young boxer said. Casimero’s fight aired on AKTV on IBC 13 last Sunday afternoon.
Casimero returned to the country Wednesday morning along with promoter Sammy Gello-ani and trainer Christopher “Pingping” Tempora.
Gello-ani expressed his desire to stage a title defense here in the Philippines, as an overseas bout entails a lot of risks. He is optimistic that Casimero’s most recent win will encourage a match in either Manila or Cebu.
Before Sunday’s battle, Casimero had earlier won the interim title via a 10th round TKO over Argentina’s Luis Lazarte. The February 10 match was marred by a post-fight riot among Argentinian spectators. Casimero was elevated to full champion by the IBF after champion Ulises Solis declared he would be unable to defend his title due to a critical surgery.
“For me, defending the title in Mexico was a calculated risk. I really gambled but I’m happy we won. Now, Casimero is always smiling,” Gello-ani said.
Assessing the fight, the Cebu-based promoter said that Casimero will have to do better in his next match.
“He has to do a lot of things to improve. Even the boy [Casimero] said that he didn’t throw enough punches. The problem was that Guevara kept running,” Gello-ani added. “He has to learn how to cut off the ring against a backpedaling opponent, as well as improve his timing and distance.”