FILIPINO Johnriel Casimero retained his IBF lightflyweight title on Sunday with an impressive unanimous decision win over hometown hero Luis Alberto Rios at the Megapolis Convention Center in Panama city.
Casimero banked on his combinations and jabs to get the better of the 23-year-old Panamanian who spent most of the match back-pedalling and getting out of harm's way.
The judges scored it 119-109, 119-109 and 118-110 for the pride of Ormoc City.
The win was Casimero's second successful defense of the title he took from Luis Alberto Lazarte in a controversial fight in February last year.
In that match, Casimero floored the Argentinian legend in the 10th round with a great combination, earning the ire of a mob who attacked the Filipino fighter and his team.
This did not, however, happen in Panama as the home crowd even booed Rios for his lack of willingness to engage.
Casimero’s manager, Sammy Gello-ani, said he is now looking at a possible unification bout with WBA 108-lb titlist Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua.
“We hope to seal a fight with the WBA champion. Otherwise, we will look for other options, perhaps a title defense for Johnriel in front of Filipino fans,” said Gello-ani.
Casimero's last three fights have been away from home.