THIS time, Johnriel Casimero appeared to have gone out of bounds.
Many boxing fans and netizens including current WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire, expressed displeasure at how Casimero made a joke out of the health condition of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.
The 31-year-old Casimero ridiculed Roach for 'talking like a robot,' obviously in reference to the trainer’s stuttering brought about by Parkinson’s Disease.
The outspoken Filipino world champion made the remark in a recent YouTube vlog (RichDon TV) where he served as the special guest.
Although Casimero is being trained by Nonoy Neri, one of Manny Pacquiao’s local trainers, the reigning WBO title holder was asked if he doesn’t want to be trained by the 61-year-old Roach in order to improve his footwork like Pacquiao.
Casimero was straight to the point, admitting he and Roach wouldn’t understand each other because of the language barrier.
“Siyempre gusto ko Pilipino. Hindi kami magkaka-intindihan nun,” he said.
Casimero later made fun of the way the legendary trainer responsible for turning Pacquiao into one of the all-time great fighters, talks.
“Tapos yung pagsasalita pa hindi pa gaanong marinig. Rarrrrrrrr. Parang robot,” he added, flashing a smile.
Netizens were quick to call out Casimero as the clip went viral, all of them criticizing him for being insensitive to the health disorder of the one-time boxer and at the same time, disrespecting one of the all-time great trainers in boxing history.
Donaire, 38, was among those who expressed disappointment over the latest antics of Casimero which appeared to be growing by the numbers as days go by.
“That was sad. Freddie is not only a legendary trainer, but also a HUMAN BEING,” said Donaire when asked about the interview.
“U don’t make fun of someone like that. Not about health,” added the ‘Filipino Flash.’ “Especially in this sport we are in, u don’t know when karma will come back around.”
Donaire himself and his family have been mocked by Casimero in the past, an incident that eventually led to the cancellation of their supposed world title unification fight last month.
In the same vlog, Casimero insinuated he has no desire to train under Roach, saying he preferred to be trained by someone who is younger and faster than him.
“Maghanap tayo ng bata kasi bata tayo. Gusto natin mabilis, mas mabilis pa sa akin,” said the native of Merida, Leyte. “Gusto ko yung trainer ko mas mabilis pa sa akin, hindi yung ako lang ang mabilis, yung trainor ko mabagal.”
Ironically, Casimero trained in Roach’s famed Wild Card gym in Hollywood while preparing for his last title fight against Guillermo Rigondeaux.
There are also insiders who feel Casimero’s tirade may have something to do with the reported rift in the Pacquiao camp between Roach and Buboy Fernandez.
All along, Roach and Fernandez have been having a turf war in Pacquiao’s corner, which finally came out in the open following the Filipino legend’s stunning loss to Yordenis Ugas in their welterweight title fight last month.
Fernandez and Neri, trainer of Casimero, have long been working as Pacquiao’s Filipino trainers.
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