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    Casimero comeback fight vs Ryo declared a no-contest over 'illegal blow'

    Dec 4, 2022
    Johnriel Casimero versus Ryo

    IT’S not the kind of outcome Johnriel Casimero was hoping for in his comeback fight.

    The Filipino’s 12-round bout against Ryo Akaho of Japan was declared a no contest after Casimero’s opponent was deemed unfit to continue fighting on Saturday at the Paradise City Plaza Hotel in Incheon, South Korea.

    The issue had something to do with an apparent Casimero punch that hit the Japanese at the back of his head and rendered him unsuitable to go on for the remainder of the 10-round match at super-bantamweight.

    [READ: Philippine boxing down but not out, say experts]

    Akaho complained to referee Michiaki Someya about the illegal blow, which he claimed hurt him badly. He refused to fight even after being given a five-minute break to recover his bearings.

    The unexpected ending certainly didn’t do Casimero favors especially with the 33-year-old pride of Ormoc City looking to revive his career after being inactive for more than a year.

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    Casimero (31-4, 21 KOs) hasn’t fought since a earning a split decision against Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba in August of 2021 to retain his WBO title belt in Carson, California.

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      Shortly after the Rigondeaux fight, it was all downhill for Casimero, who saw his potential blockbuster, unification match with fellow Filipino Nonito Donaire Jr. cancelled. He was later stripped of his championship belt after failing to address his weight issue for the second straight time in a supposed fight with Paul Butler.

      After losing his crown, the 33-year-old Casimero opted to go up in weight and fight at super-bantamweight.

      For the Akaho fight, he trained for about two months in Thailand before proceeding to South Korea.

      Akaho is now 39-2-2 with 26 KOs. He previously fought for the WBO bantamweight title, but lost by a second round stoppage against champion Panya Uthok of Thailand in 2015.

      He actually scored a flash knockdown against Casimero in the second round, although the blow was not damaging enough to harm the Filipino.

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      Nonetheless, the ending of the fight was actually a setback to Casimero’s bid for a shot at a third world title in a third division.

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