Ryan Songalia

Johnriel Casimero to defend title against Mauricio Fuentes on May 3

MANILA, Philippines – IBF junior flyweight titleholder Johnriel Casimero will make a mandatory defense against Colombia’s Mauricio Fuentes on May 3 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City, Philippines.

Sammy Gello-ani, who promotes Casimero, revealed the news to RingTV.com at the 14th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Awards in Pasay City, Philippines on Tuesday night. Gello-ani says that the 24-year-old Casimero (19-2, 11 knockouts) of Ormoc City has earned the chance to defend his belt after fighting most of his major fights overseas.

Fuentes (16-2, 10 KOs) is not an unfamiliar name to Casimero, as the two had been reported to face one another several times before events fell through. Fuentes, rated no. 12 by the IBF, has never fought outside of his home country or competed in a fight that was scheduled for longer than eight rounds.

“The matchup, I could say that he’s not the number one contender but we will not be over-confident,” said Gello-ani. “He’s still a fighter and he’s a boxer from Colombia which has good fighters. [Casimero] will just train well and fight hard.”

Casimero won the title in 2012 with a stoppage victory over Luis Lazarte in Argentina, which resulted in an ugly post-fight riot that made it to ESPN’s airwaves.

Casimero has since made three defenses, with the last being an eleventh-round technical knockout of Felipe Salguero in Makati City, Philippines this past October.

Casimero will return this week to Cebu City to train at the Omega Boxing Gym with Christopher “Ping Ping” Tepora. Casimero is rated no. 5 by THE RING at 108 pounds, while Fuentes is unrated.

Around the web