Trainer says Casimero to chase undefeated Gonzalez next year

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Former International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero will start chasing undefeated Nicaraguan World Boxing Council (WBC) super flyweight champion Roman Gonzales next year.

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Casimero, 26, already vacated the IBF flyweight belt two days ago to focus on his bid to fight in the super flyweight class. The former IBF light flyweight champion won the IBF flyweight belt against Thailand’s Amnat Ruenroeng via fourth round technical knockout last May 25 in Beijing, China.

He defended well his title last September 10 by posting a 10th round technical knockout win over British pug Charlie Edwards in London.

“Our goal is to get a shot against (Roman) Gonzales,” trainer Jhun Agrabio told The Manila Times on Friday during interview. “It will be better for us to go up in the super flyweight now than next year. It will give us more time and preparation for 2017.”

Agrabio also said the Ormoc City native Casimero (23-3 win-loss record with 15 knockouts) is undergoing light training to keep him fit. He explained Casimero is no longer comfortable fighting in the flyweight rank (112 pounds) that’s why he moved up to the super flyweight weight class (115 pounds).

“We don’t want to experience any setback in the super flyweight,” he explained. “At the same time, Johnriel (Casimero) suffers a lot in the 112, so I think this is a good opportunity to go up since (Roman) Gonzalez is now fighting in the 115 rank.”

He said Casimero’s promoter and manager Sammy Gello-ani agrees that his boxer no longer needs any tune-up fights in his debut in the super flyweight category. “We are expecting him to fight a world title fight and there’s no need for any exhibition bout,” he said.”

Gonzales is definitely the biggest name in the super flyweight, being unbeaten in 46 bouts with 38 knockouts.

On the other hand, the reigning IBF super flyweight champion is Filipino Jerwin Ancajas (25-1-1 record with 16 knockouts). Ancajas, 24, blasted Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo last September 3 via unanimous decision in Taguig City.

But Agrabio said they are not after Ancajas’ belt because he is also a fellow Filipino. At the same time, pitting two Filipinos in the ring is not financially advisable. “That’s not clear and not good financially although we’re not avoiding him,” he said.

“But if there is somebody who will promote that fight (Casimero-Ancajas) and he’ll give both fighters the right purse, then why not? As what I’ve said, we are open to any organization.”

Agrabio said Casimero is willing to fight Gonzales at any given time and place.

“Even outside his house or outside the door, Johnriel will fight him. Negotiation will start by January and the goal is to get a fight with Gonzalez.”

JOSEF T. RAMOS

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