By Adrian Stewart Co
Filipino boxer John Riel Casimero aims to retain his World Boxing Organization (WBO) world bantamweight belt when he faces Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba on Sunday at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
This will be the Ormoc, Leyte-native Casimero’s second defense of the world championship that he captured when he defeated Zolani Tete of South Africa in November 2019.
The 32-year-old Casimero said that he is more than ready to beat Rigondeaux as he hopes that his Cuban opponent will not be running around the ring, like he used to do in his previous bouts.
“This has been a fantastic training camp. I’ve really been focusing on my conditioning so that I can keep my strength for all 12 rounds. This has been the best training I’ve had in a while,” Casimero said.
“I want this to be a fight. The fans want this to be a fight. I hope Rigondeaux doesn’t run. If he does, this will be a boring fight. His old fights are no good. All he does is run, run, run. I want the Rigondeaux that doesn’t run, the one that boxes and fights,” he added.
The 40-year-old Rigondeaux, for his part, has cautioned Casimero from being too complacent as he vowed to bring out the fight that the Filipino world boxing champion wanted.
“I’m not a big trash-talker,” Rigondeaux said in an interview with Boxing Scene. “It’s not about like, ‘Oh, what’s he gonna do? Or what I’m gonna do,’ or whatever people wanna say beforehand.”
“You know what? I’ll see you in the ring and then you’ll see the real Rigondeaux, just like you want. But in the meantime, I’m just focusing again on what I’m doing, on my job and that’s the long and the short of it. Anything else is pure talk,” he added.
Casimero enters the ring with an impressive 30-4-0 win-loss-draw ring record, including 21 stoppage wins, while Rigondeaux has a 20-1-0 slate, including 13 wins by way of knockout.
Casimero’s match with Rigondeaux was set after the former’s supposed match up with fellow Filipino and current World Boxing Council (WBC) world bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. did not push through./ASC, WDJ