JOHN Riel Casimero became the latest Filipino world champion when he was awarded the junior flyweight crown by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) on Friday after the boxing body stripped Mexican Ulisses Solis of his title belt.
The 30-year-old Solis was given until October 30 by the IBF to make a mandatory defense against Casimero, but following an operation last May 29 when a bone insertion was performed on his left jaw, doctors ordered a three- to four-month rest for the Mexican, automatically ruling out a possible title fight.
Casimero, a native of Ormoc, Leyte but now based in Cebu City, was the interim IBF junior flyweight holder before he was awarded the regular belt.
ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael first reported the news. The IBF rankings however, has yet to be updated and still listed Solis as its 108-lb champion.
Calls and text messages to Sammy Gelo-Ani, manager of Casimero, 22, weren’t answered.
The Filipino won the interim IBF belt with a 10th-round technical knockout of Argentinian Juan Lazarte in a 12-round match marred by a post-fight riot inside the ring when angry supporters of Lazarte attacked Casimero, Gelo-Ani, and the small Philippine entourage.