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Gello-ani: Casimero to defend crown on foreign territory still

Sampson Boxing LLC of international agent Sampson Lewkowicz has won the purse bidding for the title defense of Filipino IBF light flyweight champion Jonriel “Quadro Alas” Casimero against mandatory challenger Luis “Pan Blanco” Rios of Panama, but Casimero's local promoter Sammy Gello-ani said it's no guarantee that the bout  would be held here in the country.

“That's really our intent in joining the purse bid, to be able to stage the fight here,” said Gello-ani. “But it's really a tough task for us if we take a look at the investment side considering that Casimero is not a big deal yet. Unless we get a substantial backing from a Philippine television network, we are not capable of holding it here.”

Gello-ani said they now have initial talks with TV5 of business tycoon Manny Pangilinan but if they could not strike a deal with the Kapatid network, they might opt to have the fight in the US or in the home country of Rios if it's willing bankroll the card.

Sampson Boxing represented Gello-ani's SGG Sports Promotions during the purse bid held a day after New year at the IBF head office in Springfield, New Jersey.

In a report by Carlos Costa of, the winning bid from Sampson Boxing was for $132,000, way ahead of the $95,000 offered by Promociones y Eventos del Istmo, the sole other participant.

“The Champion gets 75% and the challenger gets 25%. The Promoter Sampson Boxing has 90 days to put the fight on,” confirmed IBF Championships Committee Chairman Lindsey Tucker in the same internet report.

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The numbers mean that Casimero (17-2, 10KOs) of Ormoc City will receive a purse of $99,000, while Rios (18-1-1, 13KOs) will earn $33, 000.

Gello-ani said wherever the match would be held, his prized ward is ready to defend his throne.

“Casimero is ready to defend his title anytime, anywhere. It's not a problem for us wherever the fight would be staged because Casimero has already shown in the past that he is capable of handling pressure and winning big fights even in hostile territories,” said Gello-ani.

The 22-year-old Casimero snatched the IBF 108-pound crown with a resounding 10th round TKO of Argentine Luis Alberto Lazerte in a riot-marred fight last February 13, 2012 at the Club Once Unidos in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Even before referee Eddie Claudio of New York could formally declare the winner, a swarm of angry Argentine fans flocked to the ring and attacked Casimero and his team.

The IBF officials and some cooler heads who tried to prevent the situation from getting worse were not spared by the wrath of irate fans.  Chairs, bottles, punches and other hard objects were flying all over the arena in boxing's most disgraceful episode in recent memory.

Casimero kept his belt for the first time after eking out a split decision win over Pedro Guevara last August in Sinaloa, Mexico.

Ríos, for his part, earned the right to challenge Casimero by pulling off an 11th round stoppage of Mexican Felipe Salguero in an IBF eliminator last October at the Roberto Duran Arena in Panama.

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