By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Despite all the pre-fight hype and trash talking, which was almost exclusively done by the defending champion, the WBO world bantamweight title fight did not end in a knockout.
But, long-time observers of the fight game expected this from the challenger, Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux. He wasn’t going to fall for that macho crap. He wasn’t going to engage. He’ll simply be just Rigondeaux, and make the other guy look bad.
John Riel Casimero tried his best to land a telling punch. But the punch stats showed that in the entire twelve rounds, no round had double digit figures in terms of punches landed by both fighters.
Rigondeaux’s running prowess would put to shame any East African Olympic medalist. But, in brief moments, he did remind us why he was a two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time world amateur champion.
If only he decided to throw a few more punches, who knows, maybe the fight would have had a different outcome considering the way the scorecards went.
One judge scored the bout for him, 115-113, while the two others had Casimero on top, 117-111, 116-112, allowing the Filipino to retain his 118-pound crown but his knockout streak was halted at six. This was Casimero’s second defense of the WBO title he won from South African Zolani Tete.
Any boxer will tell you it is hard to fight someone who does not want to engage. But Casimero’s camp should have been better prepared for this. We’ve all seen our share of “strange” decisions, even when you claim your boxer was the aggressive one.
With that said, it was nobody’s finest hour.
File photo- John Riel Casimero winning in Metro Manila two years ago.
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