Filipino boxers

Casimero just 8 pounds over in battle vs Butler

Roy Luarca

TITLE DEFENSE. Johnriel Casimero will try to defend his WBO bantamweight title for the third time.

Team Casimero

Johnriel Casimero should have no problem making weight as he tangles with Paul Butler in December, seeking a win that will line himself up for a crack at Naoya Inoue

Johnriel Casimero is taking a new approach in his battle with Paul Butler and the weight scales.

Rather than wait for the last few days to make the 118-pound limit, Casimero opted to go on diet earlier even as he continues to train hard for the third defense of the World Boxing Organization crown against the British mandatory challenger on December 11 at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

In his vlog on Saturday, November 27, Casimero showed his leaner, more muscular body and bared he tipped in at 126 pounds.

“There’s no more fat,” Casimero said in Filipino while chewing on some food and holding on to his stomach.

Considering there are still two weeks to go, Casimero should have no problem making weight, just like in his last three fights when strength and conditioning guru Memo Heredia was by his side.

According to Heredia, conflict of interest and logistical concerns prevented him from joining the Casimero training camp this time.

Other than Heredia, Casimero will also be missing coach Nonoy Neri and MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons in Dubai.

Casimero’s new team, which will fly to Dubai on Saturday, December 4, is composed of his brother Jayson as head coach, former world champion Manny Melchor, and cutman Stephen Lunas.

Despite the changes in his team, Casimero (31-4, 21 knockouts) is heavily favored to beat Butler (33-2, 15 knockouts) and line himself up for a crack at Naoya Inoue, the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation unified champion.

Another Filipino, Jayson Mama (16-0, 9 KOs), will challenge British Sunny Edwards (16-0, 4 KOs) for the IBF flyweight belt in the co-feature of the inaugural card of Probellum.

Donnie Nietes, still going strong at 39, will try to show why he’s a four-division world champion when he tangles with Norbelto Jimenez of the Dominican Republic in a super flyweight eliminator. –