EVEN before he could climb the ring against challenger Mauricio Fuentes, John Riel Casimero already lost his International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior flyweight title.
In a stunning development, the 24-year-old Filipino was stripped of his title belt on Friday after failing to make the 108-lbs limit during the official weigh-in at the SM Cebu Events Center.
Casimero tipped in at 113.25 or more than 5 lbs. over the junior flyweight limit. The former champion opted not to shed the excess weight, aware he can no longer go down to 108 lbs.
In contrast, Fuentes of Colombia, came in at exactly 108 lbs.
“Ginawa niya ang lahat pero hindi na niya talaga nakukuha ang timbang (108 lbs),” Casimero told Sunstar sports editor June Migallen.
Sammy Gello-Ani, the promoter of Casimero, knows it’s useless trying to make the weight, even as he apologized to Cebuano fight fans for the failure of the Ormoc City native to defend his title inside the ring.
“If we’re going to squeeze more, I’m afraid he will die,” said Gello-Ani, who doubted Casimero will make it prior to the weigh-in.
The title will be left vacant even if Casimero (19-2-1, 11 KOs) wins the 12-round bout at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel on Saturday night. But Fuentes (16-2, 10 KOs) can seize the championship belt outright if he beats Casimero.
The fightcard dubbed `Pinoy Knockout' and presented by Omega Pain Killer will be broadcast on Sunday over TV5 at 1 p.m.