Saturday, 26 October 2013

John Riel Casimero v Felipe Salguero

In the first world title fight of the weekend Filipino John Riel Casimero (19-2, 11) successfully retained his IBF Light Flyweight title courtesy of a stunning 11th round TKO over tough Mexican Felipe Salguero (18-5-1, 13). This, the third defense for Casimero was arguably the most impressive though it was a performance that perhaps he had to have to remind the Filipino fans who he was.

The fight started slowly with both men feeling their way in to it in the opening rounds. There was little to separate them through the first 3 rounds with Salguero stalking the champion who was himself doing just enough to neutralise the Mexican's pressure with intelligent boxing.

After the slow start Casimero started to come alive in round 4 as he put his foot on the gas for the first time and in round 5 things were in full swing for the Filipino who was starting to find his timing and range with left hooks and right straights. Although having a lot of notable success Casimero was unable to drop Salguero, who twice slipped to the canvas.

Casimero's success continued in round 6 as he bloodied the eye of his game challenger who was starting to fall well behind on the score cards. It appeared as if Casimero was on the verge of running away with things though Salguero then started to rally back in to the fight and seemed to have real success in round 7.

Salguero's success in round 7 looked like he was going to have a memorable come back. Unfortunately for the Mexican his successes were short lived with Casimero sending his challenger to the canvas for the first time in round 8 courtesy of a clean left hand. The knockdown may not have kept Salguero down but proved that Casimero had the power to hurt him. This was again on show in round 9 as Salguero went down for a second time.

By the start of round 10 Salguero was in a real hole on the cards and was going to need something major to turn things around. The best he could do however was stay on his feet for the full round refusing to fall too much further behind as he continued to be made to look like a second grade challenger.

With a clear lead on the score cards Casimero seemed to have the bout in the bag. Despite this he wanted to put on a show for the crowd and went for it in round 11 dropping Salguero again following a vicious combination. This time the referee had decided enough was enough and stopped the bout.

Following the contest Casimero hinted at a a possible move to Flyweight, arguable the toughest division in the sport. Whilst he may be struggling to make Light Flyweight I'd not expect him to fair too well at at 112lbs against naturally bigger, stronger men. Saying that however there are numerous big fighters in the East if Salguero does make that move and contests against Kazuto Ioka, Akira Yaegashi or even Toshiyuki Igarashi would all make sense, as would a fight with Roman Gonzalez who has himself moved up this past week or so.

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