MANILA, Philippines – The moment John Riel Casimero hit the mitts, trainer Nonoy Neri felt more power.
“We have been doing the mitts,” Neri, who arrived in Miami, Florida from Manila on March 9, said in Filipino. “Early on we did it for 12 rounds. Yesterday (Friday) it was 14 rounds.”
And, according to Neri, the impact of Casimero’s punches was different.
“The power is greater. The punches carry much weight, heavy,” said Neri. “He really got stronger.”
Neri acknowledged the early work done on Casimero by strength and conditioning guru Memo Heredia and renowned Cuban coach Pedro Roque, who was entrusted by MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons to take care of Casimero’s early training.
Once Neri, Pacquiao’s longtime assistant trainer, came in, however, he gradually took over.
“Conditioning is okay. No problem. He (Casimero) has power and speed already,” said Neri, who intends to focus on enhancing Casimero’s speed further.
He believes it will be a key factor for Casimero in beating Japanese Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue in their unification bantamweight tussle on Saturday, April 25 (Sunday, April 26, Philippine time) at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
“More on speed, because Inoue is fast,” added Neri, who’ll be in command when Team Casimero, which also includes trainer Ting Lucas Sugar and Jayson Casimero, Johnriel’s older brother, heads for Las Vegas on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) for the final phase of Casimero’s preparations.
Sparring partners Mike Plania and Reymart Gaballo were left behind as the Sanman fighters are based in Miami.
For Casimero to become faster, Neri is going to request Heredia to include a weekly mountain run on Casimero’s conditioning regimen.
With 6 weeks of twice-a-day training left, Neri said he’s going to limit Casimero’s rice intake.
“No more rice. More on protein, fruits and vegetables,” said Neri, who doubles as Pacquiao’s personal cook when the eight-division world champion is training for a fight.
Apart from Casimero’s physical improvements, Neri noticed the World Boxing Organization 118-pound champion trains more diligently now.
“He’s doing it with enthusiasm. He’s very determined,” said Neri. “He knows this fight could bring him superstardom.” – Rappler.com