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Casimero avoids burning out

By Joaquin Henson
Thu, 26 Mar 2020

WBO bantamweight champion Johnriel Casimero is staying indoors in a rented house in Las Vegas, steps out only to buy provisions in a Filipino store about four miles away and does 15 to 16 rounds of mitts and shadow boxing every day while awaiting word on when his triple unification showdown with super WBA/IBF titleholder Naoya Inoue will be reset.

The duel with Inoue was scheduled at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on April 25 but Top Rank has postponed the event until further notice. MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons, who is in Las Vegas, said yesterday the probability is the fight will be held in June.

Casimero left Manila for Miami via Los Angeles to open training camp with strength and conditioning coach Memo Heredia early last month. Then, he flew to Las Vegas last week to stay in a four-bedroom 307-square meter house with a swimming pool and spa. Casimero lives in the house on Horseshoe Cliff Avenue with trainer Nonoy Neri, assistant trainer Ting (Sugar) Ariosa and brother Jayson. Gibbons booked the house for the team.

Neri said Casimero now walks around weighing 132 pounds. The bantamweight limit is 118. “Tama lang timbang ni Tata,” said Neri. “Adjust kami sa training program. Parating si Memo galing Miami. Pang-umaga ang training kay Memo, ako pang-hapon. Ayaw namin ma-sunog si Tata. Hindi siya lumalabas ng bahay at delikado sa virus kaya walang jogging. Pagtapos mag-mitts, tuloy siya sa spa at pool. Heated yung pool at may parang masahe yung spa kaya tamang-tama pang-relax.”

Neri said he orders food delivery but sometimes, drives to a nearby Filipino store Island Pacific for supplies. “Kaunti nalang stock sa WalMart,” he said. “Kilala namin ang may-ari ng Island Pacific kung saan kami nakakabili ng chicken, pompano, gulay, prutas, bottled water. Sabi ni Memo, bawal ang karneng baka. Sobrang inip na kami pero tiyaga lang.”

Gibbons said the postponement could be about 60 days. “At least, we’re not starting from scratch,” he said. “Casimero’s in good hands with Memo, Nonoy, Sugar and Jayson. We’re adjusting his training schedule so he doesn’t burn out. When things are back to normal, we’ll take Casimero to the track. We’ll make sure he’s at his peak when the fight comes.”

Neri said he’s not aware if Inoue has arrived in Las Vegas. “Hindi namin alam,” he said. “May balita na mas nauna siya sa Vegas. Wala kaming pakialam sa kaniya. Basta kami ready. Alaga kami ni Sir Sean at wala kaming iniintindi.”

Neri said the lockdown has given the team more time to study Inoue on film. “Sa first two rounds, diskarte lang, huwag lapitan si Inoue para huwag ma-unahan,” he said. “Maganda jab ni Inoue. Kailangan niya distansya kaya dapat huwag bigyan ng space. May step-back siya. Jab-straight 1-2 combination tapos labas. Sa umpisa, huwag muna mag-pressure si Tata at iwas headbutt. Kung ano ginawa ni Tata kay (Zolani) Tete, ‘yan ang gagawin niya kay Inoue.”

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