Helping Casimero

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

WHAT’S the best way to prepare for a world title fight? Spar with a fellow world champion.

International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight king Johnriel Casimero once again taps the services of World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight titleholder Donnie Nietes in preparation for his title defense on May 2.

Casimero will defend his belt against IBF No. 12 Mauricio Fuentes at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City.


“We want to spar with Nietes because he is fast and is right-handed like Fuentes,” Omega Boxing Gym head coach Christopher “Ping-Ping” Tepora told Sun.Star Cebu.

Casimero is scheduled to start sparring with Nietes, who is also preparing for a title fight in the same month, tomorrow at the ALA Boxing Gym. Nietes is defending his WBO belt against Moises Fuentes in a rematch on May 10 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

It isn’t the first time that Nietes has helped out Casimero in preparation for a title defense. Nietes was also among Casimero’s sparring partners for his title defense in Panama against Luis Alberto Rios, who he beat by unanimous decision last year.

“It is a huge help. Casimero’s skills will be sharpened sparring with Nietes,” said Tepora.

Casimero has been sparring with fighters from the ALA Boxing Gym regularly.

This is Casimero’s fourth title defense, his second in the Philippines and his first in Cebu City, in which he now calls home.

Fuentes is coming off a long layoff for over a year. However, he is scorching hot and has won 13 fights in a row.

“He (Fuentes) is always moving and is quick but we have seen his style and we will look for a way to beat him,” said Tepora. “Yes, he has power. He can’t be taken lightly.”

Casimero has fought most of his major fights in enemy territory. Now that he is fighting at home, he still isn’t taking any chances.

“It is good that the fight will be here in Cebu. We won’t be worrying on a hometown decision,” said Tepora. “But we have been used to fighting anywhere and we are getting ourselves used to not being complacent.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 03, 2014.


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