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John Riel Casimero seeks fresh start, sets 2023 boxing timeline

By Brian Yalung

Filipino boxing champion John Riel Casimero heaved a big sigh of relief following the decision of the Korea Boxing Member’s Commission’s (KBMC) decision to overturn the result of his Dec. 3 fight against Japanese fighter Ryo Akaho.

In an exclusive interview with Casimero’s cutman and adviser, Stephen Lunas, the 33-year-old boxer is looking forward to restarting his boxing comeback trail and is eyeing a boxing ring return in April against Mexican boxer Luis Nery.

According to Lunas, the 33-year-old Ormoc native was very happy with the KBC’s decision to overturn the result of the Dec. 3 showdown with Akaho.

John Riel Casimero [screen grab from Treasure Boxing  Promotion]
John Riel Casimero [screen grab from Treasure Boxing Promotion]

The close friend of “Quadro Alas” revealed that only learned about the decision when he received a message from Games and Amusement Board (GAB) Boxing Division Chief Jackie Lou Cacho-Ornido.

“Mga 11:00 p.m. noon, nakakuha ako ng message galing kay mam Jackie Ornido sa GAB. Kinongratulate niya tapos may letter galing mismo sa Korean Boxing Commission. Binasa ko, binaliktad na nila yung no-contest to KO second round win by “Quadro Alas,” Casimero’s personal cutman said.

“Sinend ko kaagad yung message na yun kay Quadro Alas, chinat ko kaagad siya. Masayang-masaya siya na at least na-itama yung desisyon na yun. Tapos nagpasalamat din siya sa GAB kasi malaking tulong ang GAB dahil ang bilis ng aksyon nila. Sila agad ang unang nagpadala ng protest letter sa Korean Boxing Commission,” he added.

Lunas also added that since Casimero’s manager, Jose Dela Cruz, was busy attending to something in Russia at the time, it was he who had to make the protest letter that would be submitted to the Korean Boxing Commission.

“Sa ngayon, ang niluluto ay ang next fight for April. Ang niluluto ngayon ay yung kay Luis Nery,” Lunas said.

“So kung si Nery yung no. 1 contender ng WBC, kung matuloy itong Casimero-Neri sa April , ang target ng promoter sa August ay lalaban si ‘Quadro Alas’ for world championship, yung WBC na vacant. Yun ang target nila. At kung makuha niya yun, pinaka-ultimate goal nila ay pipilitin nila makuha si Inoue by December,” Lunas explained.

With things back on track, Casimero is expected to start training again starting this January. His backers want to make sure that “Tata” is ready for battle and want to avoid rushing things

“Ang training ni Tata, mag-umpisa siya this second week of January. Ang gusto ng manager, kelangan ready siya kasi ayaw ng manager na biglaan ang bawas ng timbang. Like in three weeks, dun lang siya magmamadali,” Lunas said.

“Gusto niya, let’s say April yung laban, first or second week ng January, umpisa na siya mag-training…dahan-dahan, para di mabigla ang katawan,” he added.

As far as where Casimero will train is still up in the air.

“Ang gusto kasi ng Japanese promoter ay sa Japan. Pero Japan or Thailand ang pinagpipilian. Na kay Quadro Alas ang final decision diyan kung saan niya gusto mag-training,” Lunas quipped.

Whether it be in Japan or Thailand, Lunas explained that there will be groups who will help shoulder the cost of the Filipino boxer’s training. However, one difference that he pointed out is the weather conditions in both countries.

“Alam mo naman pagdating ng January o February sa Japan, napakalamig diyan. Sa Thailand, medyo warm doon. Maganda talaga mag-training yung medyo mainit, madaling pawisan ba… but like I said, final decision diyan ay si Quadro Alas,” Lunas said.

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