MANILA, Philippines – John Riel Casimero fears nobody in the ring. Not even the Japanese monster.
“I’m not afraid of anyone. I feel like I’m the hardest hitter at 118 pounds,” said Casimero in a sendoff press conference on Wednesday, February 5 at Amelie Hotel in Manila.
And that includes unbeaten Naoya “The Monster” Inoue, the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation champion (19-0, with 16 knockouts) who will also be going after Casimero’s World Boxing Organization crown on April 25 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
The confidence of Casimero, turning 30 on February 13, soared after a three-round stoppage of former champion Zolani Tete of South Africa last November in Birmingham, England.
Of course, Casimero knows Inoue is regarded as a beast among bantamweights.
Even if multi-division champion Nonito Donaire, who Inoue beat by unanimous decision, showed he’s vulnerable to an equally strong puncher with defensive skills.
“Inoue has this shock punch that he throws and I should be very careful but I believe that I hit harder than him,” said Casimero, who’s 29-4 with 20 knockouts.
MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons swears Inoue-Casimero is going to be a brutal slugfest just like Inoue-Donaire.
“You seldom see fights starting two Asian fighters in their prime fighting in a unification (title duel),” said Gibbons, also an international matchmaker.
Gibbons, however, believes Casimero is primed to pull off a major shocker.
“April 25th, everybody here in the Philippines will absolutely know who John Riel Casimero is,” said Gibbons, who also represents Pacquiao, IBF super flyweight titlist Jerwin Ancajas and IBF minimumweight king Pedro Taduran.
Casimero will be leaving for the US on Thursday and will meet up with renowned strength and conditioning coach Memo Heredia in Miami for the early phase of his preparations for Inoue. – Rappler.com