Casimero battles KO specialist Franco for WBO interim crown
MANILA, Philippines – Johnriel “Quadro Alas” Casimero packs a wallop. Ricardo Espinoza Franco punches even harder.
Expect one of them to go down when they tangle for the World Boxing Organization interim bantamweight title on Saturday, April 20 (Sunday, April 21, Manila time) at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
A former two-division world champion, Casimero has stopped his last two opponents to raise his record to 26-4 with 17 knockouts. That sterling record, however, pales in comparison with Franco’s, the Mexican who is on a 10-knockout binge and has 12 KOs in his last 13 victories.
The 30-year-old Casimero is making his initial foray in the 118-pound division after an unsuccessful stint in the junior bantamweight class which saw him lose to Filipino Jonas Sultan in a title eliminator in 2017.
Whether the pride of Ormoc, Leyte can carry his power to the upper division remains to be seen, unlike the 21-year-old Franco, who is accustomed to the weight.
The 5-foot-7 Franco is 3 inches taller than Casimero at 5-foot-7 and also owns a 7-centimeter advantage in reach.
Though aware of Franco’s higher KO percentage, Casimero hinted he won’t back down from a slugfest and promised one of them is bound to be knocked out.
Casimero, the former International Boxing Federation light flyweight and flyweight titlist, and his trainer, Jun Agrabio, arrived in the USA on April 11 and is raring to bid for his third world title. – Rappler.com
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