Former IBF Light Flyweight and Flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero (23-3, 15) has sadly been inactive since travelling to England last September and stopping Charlie Edwards in 10 rounds, to record his first and only defense of the Flyweight crown. Despite that inactivity Casimero has got big plans and is looking to become a 3-weight world champion in the near future, moving up to Super Flyweight to achieve the feat.
Today it was revealed, by Ryan Songalia of Rappler, that Casimero will return to the ring on June 25th, ending his 9 month break from the ring to take on former 3-time world title challenger Richie Mepranum (31-6-1, 8) with the bout to take place in Iligan City, Philippines.
For Casimero the bout will be his first as a fully fledged Super Flyweight and his and sees him fighting in the Philippines for the first time in over 3 years, following bouts in Thailand, China and the UK. Although talented he's joining a division full of wolves with the likes of Naoya Inoue, Roman Gonalez, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Jerwin Ancajas, Juan Francisco Estrada, David Carmona, Kal Yafai, Sho Ishida and Carlos Cuadras all stacking up the talent rich division. Whilst it's clear his intention is to become a 3-weight champion there is no easy title to snatch and he's going to have to go through a top fighter to even got a shot at a belt.
For Mepranum the bout comes on the back of stoppage loisses to Carlos Cuadras and Luis Nery and although he has fought in a number of world title bouts you actually need to go back to 2010 to find a win of real note on his record,a decision win over the then 27-0 Hernan Marquez. Since that win Mepranum has gone 9-5 (3) with 4 stoppage defeats. Although far from a gate keeper Mepranum should serve as a good first test at 115lbs for Casimero.
If Casimero beats his countryman talk will begin among fans for a bout between Casimero and countryman Ancajas, the current IBF champion, that bout does however seem unlikely with Casimero's promoter suggesting their would be a lack of money in the bout, something that is currently plaguing the Filipino fight scene, with only ALA reall having any financial fire power right now, thanks to their high profile TV deal with ABS-CBN
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