Arguably the most fun bout from this past weekend was the WBO Bantamweight title bout between defending champion John Riel Casimero (30-4, 21) and Duke Micah (24-1, 19). The bout was a short lived one, with Casimero stopping Micah in the third round, but was undeniably a joy to watch, with wild slugging by both and a very high tempo. It was less of a boxing content and more of a pure fight, but that didn't take away from the high level stuff we saw and how damn fun it was.
It was, notably, the opening bout to Showtime's PPV and it was also a sensational tear up, that once again proved that lower weight fighters and put on a show and can carry legitimate power in their hands.
It was also a bout that had plenty of things to take away from it, and with that in mind it's become the focus for today's Five Take Aways.
1-A 3 man commentary team doesn't work
Firstly we need to start with a complaint and that's that the 3 man commentary set up of Showtime isn't working. In fact if anything it's taking away from the action in the ring, and not letting the fights breathe. Individually we love Mauro Ranallo and Al Bernstein, and they do sort of compliment each other quite well. We love Ranallo's energy and excitability, and Bernstein helps keep things level and counteracts Ranallo's hyperactive energy. Together they work pretty well, mixing energy and insight. We however don't see a purpose for Abner Mares. We'd love to see boxing in the West go back to a 2-man commentary team. If they need a third man, for any reason, have them play the role of an unofficial scorekeeper and to add analysis between rounds. The action sometimes needs silence, and the fight needs to be left to talk for it's self, and that didn't happen here.
2-Casimero Wanted to leave an impression
Boy was this ever obvious! John Riel Casimero wanted to make a statement and he made it clear he wanted fans to remember him. He hadn't really been showcased to a US audience before, and he seemed fully aware that this was a chance for American fans to see him, and to become fans of his. Less than a minute into the bout he was letting bombs go and in all honesty it seemed like everything Casimero threw was thrown with bad intentions. Be it the hooks, uppercuts, straights or jabs, everything was throw with full weight behind it. At times it did make Casimero look wild and unpredictable, but that has always been part of Casimero's charm.
One thing that has often been a problem with Casimero is his inconsistency, and his willingness to sleep walk through rounds. Here however he looked more determined than ever before. It's a shame we've not seen more of this Casimero in the past!
3-Micah came to fight
With Casimero letting his hands go Duke Micah had to either concede defeat and back off, or meet fire with fire. He decided to fight fire with fire and this made for a thrilling action bout with both men landing bombs through out the fight. Micah had to take some massive shots, being dropped hard, but tried to tough it out and fight back making for a great fight. Sadly for Micah he was way out of his depth and his effort, whilst an honest one, saw his lack of experience at this level being shown. He was a very good amateur, but those amateur skills went out of the window as he stood and traded with Casimero far too often.
4-Micah never fully recovered from the knockdown
Part way through round 2 Micah was dropped. Although he got to his feet he never seemed to fully recover. He looked wobbly on his feet afterwards, and seemed buzzed throughout what remained of the round. He also looked like he was still feeling the knockdown early in round 3. It was good work from the doctor to take a look at him at the start of the round, but in reality they probably could have stopped it there and then. They gave him the benefit of the doubt, but didn't really need to, Micah was a beaten man coming out for round 3.
5-Casimero is a character
Winning is one thing, but making a statement is another. Casimero made a statement with his performance but then continued afterwards. The post-fight press ups were great and the very clear call out of Naoya Inoue was smart, as was the dancing, the general personality he showed and the masks. We know that most fight fans watch fights and that is how they get to know the fighters, but Casimero's post fight antics will also have endeared him to fans who will want to see more of him. This was a fighter who saw a chance to boost their promotional standing and made the most of that chance. Very smart by Casimero.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).