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    Tough Casimero ready to take on all comers

    Aug 9, 2012
    IBF light flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero hopes to make his next title defense in the country.

    THE sky is the limit for reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero.

    Following his successful defense of his 108-lb. title belt over the weekend, Casimero is being lined up for a November ring return against an opponent ranked in the Top 10 of his division.

    And whether it’s against Panamanian Luis Alberto Rios, Colombian Luis Dela Rosa, or any of the slew of Mexicans led by Javier Mendoza, the 22-year-old world champion doesn’t care.

    He’s ready to take all comers.

    “We’ve discussed it initially, and it’s set for November,” said Casimero’s promoter Sammy Gelo-Ani during a short press conference held for the IBF title holder on Thursday by TV5.

    “We’re eyeing anyone who’s rated by the IBF, possibly another Mexican, although may Panamanian ding nasa Top 10 si Rios, and one Colombian. But we’re ready.”

    Casimero has now won his last two fights outside of the country including the memorable 10-round technical knockout of Juan Lazarte in Mar Del Plata, Argentina that was marred by a post-fight riot when the small Filipino crew was attacked by irate supporters of the veteran Argentine.

    Although they’re willing to fight abroad if they have to , Gelo-Ani prefers to have Casimero’s next title defense to be held in the country instead.

    “Fighting abroad is very risky,” said the Cebuano-based promoter. “Yung last fight nga niya was a calculated risk on our part.

    “As long as we’re going to be supported by a television network here, a title fight in the Philippines would be very good.”

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    Rios is currently rated No. 3, followed by Mendoza, while De La Rosa is two notch lower at No. 6.

    Other Mexicans in the IBF rankings include Felipe Salguero at No. 5, Odilon Zaleta at No. 8, Juanito Hernandez at No. 9 and Ivan Meneses at No. 10.

    Casimero brought along with him his IBF belt which he retained on Saturday with a 12-round split decision of seventh-ranked Mexican Pedro Guevara in Sinaloa, Mexico. The Filipino knocked down Guevara in the opening round on the way to a 116-111, 114-113, and 113-114 decision.

    “Tumakbo kasi siya ng tumakbo. Kung hindi, di na sana aabot pa ng 12 rounds,” said Casimero, who improved his record to 17-2, with 10 KOs.

    Casimero and his team arrived in the country on Wednesday and are set to return in Cebu on Friday.

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    IBF light flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero hopes to make his next title defense in the country.
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