Casimero off to Miami
MANILA, Philippines — WBO bantamweight champion JohnRiel Casimero left Manila on a PAL flight last night to travel alone via Los Angeles to Miami where he’ll train for a month with strength and conditioning coach Memo Heredia then relocate to Las Vegas for another month of workouts before taking on super WBA/IBF titlist Naoya Inoue of Japan in a scheduled 12-round unification showdown at Mandalay Bay on April 25.
Casimero said it won’t be his longest preparation for a fight but 2 1/2 months of training should be enough to get ready for Inoue. “Hindi ito ang pinakamahirap na laban ko but ito na ang pinakamahalaga,” he said. “Kay (Luis) Lazarte, training ko umabot ng five months. Kay (Charlie) Edwards, three months. Itong laban, dedicate ko kay Sen. Manny (Pacquiao), sa mga fans na naniniwala sa akin, sa dalawang anak ko at sa mga fans na hindi naniniwala sa akin para makita nila kung gaano katibay si Quadro Alas.”
Casimero said he’s estranged from the mother of his two children, both girls, 1 1/2 years old and three weeks old. “Kaka-galing ko sa Ormoc at hindi pinahiram ni Joanne ang dalawang anak namin sa akin,” he said. “Dati, balak kong pakasalan pero ngayon, alam ko na ang ugali niya. Kapapanganak lang niya.” Casimero said he has no love interest at the moment and his focus is strictly in boxing.
Heredia, the man who prepared Juan Manuel Marquez for his fourth encounter with Pacquiao in 2012, is based in Miami where J. C. Manangquil of General Santos City’s Sanman Promotions has stationed his fighters Reymart Gaballo and Mike Plania to train with Cuban Moro Fernandez. Gaballo, 23, has a 22-0 record, with 19 KOs while Plania, 25, is 23-1, with 12 KOs. Both are superbantamweights and Manangquil said they can spar with Casimero if he wants.
MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons said Casimero will move to Las Vegas to hook up with trainer Nonoy Neri on March 7. When he’s in Las Vegas, Casimero said he may look up Nonito Donaire Jr. who gave Inoue plenty of trouble in their Saitama bout last November. “Kung magkita kami ni Donaire sa gym, hihingi ako ng payo sa kaniya,” said Casimero. “Tatanungin ko mga observation niya kay Inoue.”
Casimero said Inoue’s biggest weakness is he stands right in front of his opponents. “Sa harap lang siya,” he said. “Makikipagpalitan siya at hindi umaatras. Kaya madaling tamaan. Magkakabagsakan ito. Pag tamaan ko siya, garantisadong babagsak si Inoue.”
When Casimero visited family in his Ormoc hometown last week, he sought out tattoo artist J-wish Grey Nosmas and had an imprint of Pacquiao’s face on the back of his right forearm. It took five hours to ink the tattoo on his skin. “Idol ko si Senator,” said Casimero. “Siya ang aking inspirasyon.” Gibbons said the tattoo is Casimero’s tribute to Pacquiao. “It’s his reminder to stay humble like the Senator, to never forget where he came from,” said Gibbons. “Now, wherever he goes, the Senator will always be with Casimero.”
Casimero said unlike his fight against Zolani Tete in Birmingham last November, he’ll attack Inoue from the start and won’t ease the pressure. In the Tete bout, Casimero probed and sized up the South African in the first two rounds then stepped into his strike zone in the third to score a resounding stoppage. Casimero said he couldn’t charge into Tete at the onset because of his five-inch height and eight-inch reach advantage. Casimero patiently measured Tete and made him comfortable before moving in for the finish. Against Inoue, Casimero said he’ll spit fire from the first bell.