Casimero picked over Micah
JohnRiel Casimero
Casimero picked over Micah
Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - September 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — WBO bantamweight champion JohnRiel Casimero is a solid 7-1 favorite to dispose of unbeaten Ghanaian challenger Duke Micah in their scheduled 12-round title fight on Showtime pay-per-view at the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, this morning (Manila time) with the Ormoc slugger’s trainer Clarence (Bones) Adams predicting a knockout within five rounds.

“On paper, Micah’s in the same class as Casimero,” said Adams, the former WBA superbantamweight titlist whose Prince Ranch gym in Las Vegas has been a training venue for Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire and even Snoop Dogg. “The guy’s 100 percent. He’s an Olympian with a 24-0 record. But Casimero’s a warrior. We’re worked on a gameplan. Whether he’ll bulldoze his way inside Micah’s defense from the start or play around with him until he tires out is up to him. I just think Casimero’s such a hard hitter that Micah won’t go beyond five rounds. It’s over in four or five.”

MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons said there’s no doubt in his mind as to whose hand will be raised at the end of the fight. “Champ never lacks confidence,” he said. “Bones and I feel that Casimero will stop Micah. He needs to make a real statement. Duke’s coming to bring the fire but in the end, Casimero will still be the champ. Will it be a KO in six? I’ll second that.”

Adams took over training Casimero in Las Vegas last July and is convinced the Filipino has what it takes to clean up the bantamweight ranks. “I think he’s sparred over 100 rounds since starting his training in Miami last February,” said Adams. “In Las Vegas, I’ve seen him spar Joshua Greer once and Sean Brewer. He doesn’t care whom he spars, he’ll go up against a 165-pounder any day. He’s disciplined, he makes weight easily. In the ring, I want him to be busier with better footwork. If he loads up his combinations, that’ll be his defense because he hits so hard.” In yesterday’s weigh-in, Casimero tipped the scales at 117.8 and Micah, 117.2.

Casimero, 31, will make the first defense of the WBO 118-pound crown he wrested from Zolani Tete on a third round knockout in Birmingham last November. He totes a 29-4 record, with 20 KOs. Casimero is three inches shorter than the 5-7 Micah but height has never been a handicap. Tete was 5-9 with an eight-inch reach advantage but couldn’t hold back Casimero. Micah, 29, won his first 13 fights by KO. Last December, he came off the canvas in the third round to outpoint Janiel Rivera in Brooklyn. Three of his five wins on points were close verdicts, two split and one majority. “You have to fight the best to be the best,” said Micah. “I’m bringing the title back to Ghana.” Casimero laughed off Micah’s prediction and said he’s coming home to the Philippines next month with the WBO belt in his hands.

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