By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
The ending was not exactly a surprise. Ghana’s Duke Micah was not ready for a fighter with the experience and skill level of the WBO world bantamweight champion, John Riel Casimero.
But, Casimero’s victory was badly needed in his home country, the Philippines. With the total number of coronavirus cases soaring past 300 thousand, and the nation enduring various stages of quarantine since March, plus millions of Filipinos who lost their jobs both locally and abroad, there was little to be thankful for.
Casimero himself had to endure a long wait. Underneath the confident façade, you can sense his bottled-up anger and frustration. Casimero has been in the United States since February, waiting and training for the unification fight against Japanese Naoya Inoue. But, when the coronavirus pandemic struck, boxing’s scheduled big fights went down as well.
Casimero started fast, launching a two-fisted offense that had Micah reeling from the opening round. A furious flurry sent Micah in round two, he bravely got up, but the ring doctor and the referee had to check on him before he was allowed to enter the third round.
But Casimero delivered the coup de grace in the form of a left hook and right uppercut combo and the WBO belt remained in his hands.
The fight was held at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. Casimero is now 30-4,21KO’s while Micah suffered his first loss and drops to 24-1,19KO’s.
The Filipino boxing community celebrated. The last time a Filipino was involved in a world title bout abroad was in February, when Jeo Santisima lost to Mexican Emanuel Navarrete by eleventh round TKO in a WBO world junior featherweight title bout in Las Vegas.
Manny Pacquiao, the country’s top boxing gun, is currently concentrating on his duties as senator amidst the pandemic and will not see action in 2020. Boxing in the Philippines has been halted since March but could resume in October.
There are clouds of uncertainty and anxiety over the Philippine archipelago. Casimero’s win was a welcome ray of sunshine.
The 31 year old Casimero was offered last April a defense against erstwhile WBO number one ranked contender,American Joshua Greer. But Casimero and his camp chose to wait for Inoue (19-0,16KO’S).
The undefeated Japanese star will defend his WBA/IBF belts against Australian Jason Moloney (21-1,18KO’s) on October 31 in Las Vegas.
Will a Casimero-Inoue happen in 2021?
These articles are submitted by guest writers and sites. They aren't submitted by the usual folk behind Asian Boxing and don't fall in line with our editorial stance, giving a fresh view on various boxing issues from the Asian boxing scene.