It appears that IBF Light Flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero (19-2, 11) will return to action to defend his belt in a mandatory defense on March 29th.
Casimero, who won the IBF interim belt in Argentina in a controversial bout with Luis Alberto Lazarte, has defended his belt 3 times in the last 2 years and now looks set for defense #4, this time against little known Colombian Mauricio Fuentes (16-2, 10).
Fuentes, who lost 2 of his first 5 bouts, has won his last 13 straight with 8 of those coming by T/KO. Despite that imposing streak of results it's worth noting that he has only been fighting in Colombia against domestic level opponents, not the sort of opposition that would typically prepare him for a fight with someone like Casimero.
Although ranked #12 by the IBF in their most recent rankings (we're still awaiting for updated rankings to begin 2014), it appears that this bout has been sanctioned as a mandatory title defense. We're not sure how the IBF will defend the decision but it does seem to be a nice one for Casimero who will be easily favoured against his untested foe.
The bout, expected to take place in Manila, would be Fuentes's first bout outside of his native Colombia and would also be his first world title bout, in fact it would also be his first title bout of any kind and his first bout scheduled for more than 8 rounds. Needless to say it's going to be a big step up for the Colombian challenger.
For those who are curios, Mauricio Fuentes should not be confused with the much more established Moises Fuentes (19-1-1, 10). Moises Fuentes, a Mexican who has held the WBO Minimumweight title, also fights in the Light Flyweight division though is unrelated to Mauricio. The biggest thing, other than the name, that they have in common is that they are both set to fight for Flyweight world titles with Moises seeking a rematch with WBO champion Donnie Nietes (32-1-4, 18). We are however awaiting details of that contest, which we expect will be in the next few months.
Both of these bouts may come as bad news for Naoya Inoue who will have to wait several months if he intends to fight for either the IBF or WBO world title.
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