Pinoy Casimero defends world crown versus Rios
IBF junior flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero will defend his world crown on foreign soil for the second time when he squares off against Panamanian challenger Luis Alberto Rios at the Megapolis Convention Center in Panama City today.
Casimero, who fights out of the Omega Boxing Gym of Cebu, weighed in at 107 pounds while Rios tipped the scales at the division limit of 108 pounds during the official weigh-in held one day before the fight.
The rules of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) for championship contests state that there will be a second weigh-in on the morning of the fight and the boxers are required not to be more than ten pounds over the weight limit.
Casimero (17W-2L, 10 KOs) retained his title last August 2012 by beating Pedro Guevara via split decision in Mexico.
Rios (18W-1L-1D, 13 KOs) is the mandatory challenger and was recently chosen as Panama’s Boxer of the Year.
Casimero coincidentally will be honored with a major award for boxing on the same day during the 31st SAC-SMB Cebu Sports Awards. Their fight will happen a few hours before the awards ceremonies at SM City Cebu North Wing.
John Mark Apolinario (17W-2L-2D, 4 KOs) of Maasim, Sarangani will face Panamanian Roberto Vasquez (32W-5L-1D, 22 KOs) in the same fight card for the vacant interim WBA bantamweight title.
Vasquez stepped in at the division limit of 118 pounds while Apolinario weighed 117 pounds. This fight is a rematch of their November 2012 battle that ended in a 12-round draw. /correspondent rene bonsubre, jr.
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