By NICK GIONGCO
Manila, Philippines – He is a world champion but doesn’t ride around on board a fancy set of wheels.
But if he keeps on retaining his International Boxing Federation (IBF) light-ﬂyweight title, Johnriel Casimero will soon find a replacement to his aging and beat-up FX utility vehicle.
Sammy Gello-ani, who manages the Leyte-born Casimero, told a small group of writers on Thursday that his fighter has what it takes to keep a stranglehold on the 108-lb crown.
“He is perfect for this weight class and with hardwork and perseverance, I see him dominating the division,“ said Gello-ani about his prized ward, whose second title defense will take place in November with AKTV channel 5 as main presenter.
Casimero is coming off a hard-earned 12-round split decision over fourth-rated Pedro Guevara of Mexico and is looking forward to defending it against anyone, anywhere.
“Bring them on,“ said Casimero, who survived a ring riot in Mar del Plata, Argentina, early this year, when he became interim champion by mauling Luis Lazarte of Argentina.
While a vast majority of those in the IBF’s top 10 come from Latin America, Casimero is undaunted.
Gello-ani said AKTV’s decision to back them up will prevent the from going elsewhere to stage Casimero’s title defense.
“Fighting outside the country carries a lot of risk,“ said Gelloani.
That risk seems to be not present now that Gello-ani has found a solid backer.
Hardly recognized by his countrymen because he is always fighting on the road, the November fight will be a chance for Casimero to showcase his wares and also earn enough to switch to a nicer ride.