JOHNRIEL Casimero struggled making the weight, but nonetheless vowed to go all-out when he stakes his International Boxing Federation (IBF) light-flyweight title against Felipe Salguero of Mexico on Saturday night at the Makati Coliseum.
The 23-year-old Filipino champion needed more than an hour to shed off the excess weight and had to strip naked in order to make the 108 lbs. limit during the official weigh-in for the match held at the Ace Hotel and Suites on Friday afternoon.
Casimero initially tipped in at 109 ½ lbs.
“Patayan na ito. Pinahirapan pa ako,” said the pride of Ormoc City as he gulped on a sports energy drink and wolfed down a plateful of pasta shortly after making the light-flyweight limit.
In contrast, the challenger from Toluca, Mexico easily came in at exactly 108-lbs.
But the champion, with a ring record of 18-2 (10 KOs) and making the third defense of his IBF title, doesn’t think the weight problem will affect the way he fights during the 12-round match presented by MP Promotions.
“Hindi naman siguro. Nakapag-train din naman ako ng husto,” he said.
But the Mexican said otherwise, especially seeing how the champion almost failed to make the weight.
“I expect to win. Sixth or seventh round,” Salguero said through an interpreter, indicating what round he thinks Casimero will go.
Salguero (18-4, 13 KOs) is fighting in the country for the second time after losing to Donnie `Ahas’ Nietes in their World Boxing Organization light-flyweight title match last year.
Third man in the ring for the title fight that will be free to the public is Wayne Hedgepeth, while the three judges scoring the bout are Ignatius Missallidis, Ian Scott, and Danrex Tapdasan.
Top Rank chairman Bob Arum will be a special guest at ringside from General Santos City where he attended the media day of boxing star Manny Pacquiao in his training camp.
In the main undercard, former world title challenger Michael Farenas and Kusol Sor Vorapin of Thailand both make weight for their 10-round super-featherweight bout.
Farenas tipped in at exactly 132 lbs. while Vorapin came at a light 128 lbs.