JOHN RIEL CASIMERO stakes his International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior flyweight crown Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) against unbeaten challenger Pedro Guevara in Mazatlan, Mexico.
Casimero is defending his title belt for the first time after the IBF stripped injured Mexican champion Ulisses Solis of the crown last month.
The 22-year-old title holder from Ormoc City, Leyte, easily made the weight during the official weigh-in Friday. He tipped in at exactly 108 lbs, while Guevara also came in at the same weight.
Casimero has a record of 16-2, with 10 knockouts. He is coming off a sensational 10th-round technical knockout of veteran Argentine Juan Lazarte last February in a 12-round match marred by a post-fight riot at the center of the ring when Lazarte’s supporters attacked the small Filipino crew.
Having survived the worst in Buenos Aires in Argentina, Casimero doesn’t see why he can’t also survive this one against an expected hostile Mexican fans.
“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,” said Casimero during the final press conference of the 12-round fight to be held at the Mazatlan Convention Center and aired live in Mexico by Televisa.
Guevara is undefeated in 19 pro fights, 13 of which ended by way of knockout.
The Mexican is confident of winning if his first world title in front of his countrymen.
“I am very proud to be home and fighting in front of my people,” said Guevara.