Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |


Casimero to vacate flyweight belt in search of big fights at 115

Image credit: Team Casimero

MANILA, Philippines – Johnriel Casimero will vacate his IBF flyweight title and head north in search of bigger fights at junior bantamweight, his promoter Sammy Gello-ani tells RingTV.

Casimero of Ormoc City, Leyte, Philippines punched his way to a second world championship this past May when he scored a fourth round knockout of Thailand’s Amnat Ruenroeng in China, avenging a contentious loss a year earlier, which was marked by numerous fouls.

Casimero (23-3, 15 knockouts) followed that up with a 10th round stoppage of previously-unbeaten Charlie Edwards in London last September in suppor of the middleweight championship bout between Gennady Golovkin and Kell Brook.

“He’s growing and I think the opportunity is more on super fly. I think flyweight is not anymore competitive,” says Gello-ani.

The title will likely be given up formally by Gello-ani’s partner Sampson Lewkowicz, an adviser and matchmaker based in Las Vegas, Gello-ani says.

The 26-year-old Casimero had previously held the IBF title at 108 pounds and had said before the Edwards fight that he wanted to move up to 115.

The other titleholders at 115 pounds include WBO titleholder Naoya Inoue of Japan, WBA titleholder Kal Yafai of England and IBF titleholder Jerwin Ancajas, who like Casimero is Filipino.

“(WBC junior bantamweight titlist Roman) ‘Chocolatito’ (Gonzalez) or anybody,” said Gello-ani. “Sad to say, Ancajas is on the super fly and he’s a Filipino. But wherever there is an opportunity, that can be done. Maybe on the WBC also.

“I don’t think we will be fighting small fights at 115.”

Casimero is currently the No. 2-rated fighter at 112 pounds by THE RING. He’s one of four current champions from the Philippines, joining Ancajas, WBO bantamweight titleholder Marlon Tapales and WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao.

Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to THE RING magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.

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