Saturday, December 2, 2023

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TB Promotion CEO sets record straight on controversial Casimero vs. Akaho fight

By Brian Yalung

John Riel Casimero will have to wait to get his boxing career back on track and it appears Treasure Boxing Promotion has got his back.

On Dec. 3, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight champion was looking to make a triumphant return to the ring against Japanese boxer Ryo Akaho at the Paradise City Plaza Hotel in Incheon, South Korea. Instead, it was a fight that ended oddly.

“Quadro Alas” shrugged off a knockdown off a counter in the second round and gave Akaho a sound beating.

However, things turned sour with about 45 seconds remaining in the second round when the Japanese complained about getting hit in the back of the head.

John Riel Casimero vs. Ryo Akaho. [Screengrab from Treasure Boxing Promotion]
John Riel Casimero vs. Ryo Akaho. [Screengrab from Treasure Boxing Promotion]

The 36-year-old Japanese boxer was unable to continue despite being given ample time to cover. In the end, the bout was ruled a no contest, spoiling Casimero’s boxing comeback.

In an exclusive interview with PTV Sports, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Treasure Boxing Promotions, Itou Masayuki, cleared the air on the controversy surrounding the fight.

“When Akaho was given a break time in the second round, there was already damage. During the lull, it appeared Akaho was trying to use the break to recover. Unfortunately, it turned out that Akaho was already dealing with serious damage caused by Casimero,” Masayuki said in Japanese and translated by Mark Kevin Alesna.

For his part, Akaho gave his take on his fight with Casimero.

“My memory is hazy. However, it was damage from a punch to the chin, not just the back of the head. I think I was trying to rest at the time. Over time, the damage deepened. The result was a no contest. But I understand my loss. I am far more damaged than he is,” the 36-year-old said in Japanese.

“The crack in my jaw was from his effective punch. He, on the other hand, was still going strong after the game. I didn’t grasp if it would be a no contest. I was never trying for a no contest. I have fought 44 battles and this was the first case like this,” Akaho added.

Given that the fight drew a lot of criticism, the TB Promotion CEO was asked about the possibility of a rematch between Casimero and Akaho. Masayuki stressed that a rematch is not happening and that the Dec. 3 clash was the last for the two boxers.

“As far as we are concerned, that is the last fight between Casimero and Akaho,” Masayuki said.

Looking ahead, Masayuki shared what vision they have for the 33-year-old Ormoc native – that is for him to become a world champion again. Their immediate goal is to look for a world title fight for “Quadro Alas.”

As far as a potential Casimero vs. Naoya Inoue fight, Masayuki admits that this will be a tough one to make. Given there are a lot of factors in play, seeing this boxing clash happen may take time.

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