MANILA, Philippines – At the age of 22, the Filipino boxer attacked in Argentina – Ormoc-born Johnriel Casimero – has won mostly knock-out victories in his relatively young career.
Largely overlooked after the attack against him in the South American country, details of Casimero’s profile are slowly receiving media attention through a string of interviews he granted on Friday, February 17.
Of the 18 matches that Casimero has fought, he has won 16 fights and lost only 2 so far, the boxer said in an interview with anchor Mike Enriquez on radio dzBB.
In 14 of his victories, Casimero said he knocked out his opponents.
“Sige, lumayo ka na muna rito; baka madali pa kami rito,” Enriquez said in jest after hearing about Casimer’s record. “Hindi tayo magkaaway.” (Okay, please stay for a while; we might get beaten. We’re not opponents.)
Supporters of Argentine boxer Luiz Lazarte attacked Casimero and his team on Saturday, February 11, after the Filipino won over the former.
The Argentine embassy to the Philippines has apologized for the attack, but the Philippine government has deferred action on this.
In a phone interview on Thursday, February 16, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Undersecretary Raul Hernandez said the Philippines, which filed a diplomatic protest regarding the incident, wants an official response from the Argentine government.
The attack on Casimero has also outraged a number of senators.
Recounting the attack
In another interview aired on ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol, Casimero recounted the attack on him last week.
“Natakot po ako (at) noong nakita ko po ang promoter ko na pinagtadyak-tadyak nila, sabi ko, ‘Grabe na ‘to,’” the boxer said. (I got scared, and when I saw that my promoter was already being kicked, I said to myself, “This is too much.”)
Fortunately, Casimero fell under the ring and chose to hide there, he said. The boxer chose not to retaliate.
“Nasa isip ko na ‘pag magsuntok pa ako, malaki ang gulo,” Casimero said in his dzBB interview. (I was thinking that if I punch them, it could worsen the rampage.)
“Pero kung sumuntok ka, may mapapatumba ka roon eh,” Enriquez replied (But if you punch them, you can knock some of them out). “Oo,” Casimero said (Yes).
Meanwhile, the International Boxing Federation (IBF) has banned Casimero’s attacker, Lazarte, “from participating in any fight the organization is associated,” according to a story posted on the ESPN website on Friday.
“This type of violence has no place in a boxing match, or any sporting event for that matter, as it completely goes against the grain of what competition is about. Surely you agree to that,” IBF president Daryl Peoples reportedly said.
“It is important that all of us in the boxing community, because this act (is) not exclusive to Argentina, (to) utilize this experience as one to learn from and develop better ways to protect the perimeter around the ring and the people that are in it, while also (ensuring) the safety of all those attending a boxing match,” Peoples said. – Rappler.com