STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART LVIII: JOHNRIEL CASIMERO, FOURTH FILIPINO THREE DIVISION WORLD CHAMPION
By Maloney L. Samaco
Sat, 11 Jul 2020
Johnriel Casimero won his first defense against Mexico's Pedro Guevara by split decision on August 4, 2012 at the Centro de Convenciones, Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico as he retained his IBF junior flyweight title.
Casimero also joined the few number of Filipinos who won world title bouts in Mexico, namely Luisito Espinosa, Rodel Mayol, Ana Julaton and Donnie Nietes.
He successfully made a second defense of his title by unanimous decision against WBC Latino light flyweight champion Luis Alberto Rios of Panama on March 16, 2013 at the Megapolis Convention Center, Panama City.
His third defense was against Mexico's Felipe Salguero on October 26, 2013 and he won by 11th round knockout at the Makati Coliseum, Makati City.
Casimero demolished Colombia's Mauricio Fuentes by 1st round KO on May 3, 2014 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino, Cebu City.
His next KO victim was Mexico's Armando Santos by 2nd round TKO on December 13, 2014at the Salón Las Palmas, Pesquería, Nuevo León, Mexico.
Casimero moved back to the flyweight division. But on June 27, 2015, he lost his flyweight bout via unanimous decision against IBF flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng in a controversial match in his home turf at the Indoor Stadium Huamark, Bangkok, Thailand.
On May 25, 2016, during the IBF convention in Beijing, China, Casimero rematched Ruenroeng again for the IBF flyweight title and knocked him out with a terrifying body shot in the 4th round to be crowned champion again.
He defended his title by stopping Englishman Charlie Edwards via 10th round TKO on September 10, 2016 at the opponent's territory at The O2 Arena, London, England.
Then he won over fellow Filipino Jecker Buhawe by unanimous decision on June 25, 2017 in Iligan City.
Casimero lost to countryman Jonas Sultan by unanimous decision on September 16, 2017 at the Waterfront Hotel, Cebu City.
He triumphed over Mexico's Jose Pech by 2nd round onJuly 21, 2018 at the Casino Hipodromo Agua Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico.
Casimero battled Japan's Kenya Yamashita and stopped him by TKO in the 6th on February 16, 2019at the Midas Hotel and Casino, Pasay City.
He stopped Mexico's Ricardo Espinoza Franco knocking him out in the 12th on April 20, 2019 at the Dignity Health Sports Park , Carson, California, winning the WBO interim bantamweight title.
Casimero dominated Mexico’s Cesar “Perico” Ramirez scoring a 10th-round knockout win to retain the WBO interim bantamweight title on August 24 2019 at the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate, Manila.
Casimero became the fourth Filipino fighter to win world titles in at least three weight classes after knocking out South African Zolani Tete in the 3rd round on November 30, 2019 at the Arena Birmingham, Birmingham, England to win the WBO bantamweight title. He joined Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire Jr., and Donnie Nietes in the elite list.
Casimero sent Tete down to the canvas for the first time with a right hook. Then Casimero finished him off with a thundering left hook on the head that crashed Tete into the ropes. This prompted referee Steve Gray to stop the fight.
Casimero is a traveller and has fought in ten different countries namely Nicaragua, Mexico, South Africa, Argentina, Panama, Thailand, China, United Kingdom, United States, and the Philippines. Thirteen of his 33 fights were done outside the country.
His professional record now stands at 29-4-0 with 20 KOs with a high 60.61% KO rate.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.
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