In Manila and Puerto Rico today: 2 Pinoy boxing champs to defend world titles
Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - August 24, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  In a rare coincidence, two Filipino world boxing champions will defend their respective titles today. One is fighting in his homeland and the other behind enemy lines.

At the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate, Metro Manila tonight, John Riel ‘Cuardo Alas’ Casimero (27-4, 18KOs) will put his World Boxing Organization (WBO) interim bantamweight crown on the line against Mexican challenger Cesar Ramirez (18-3, 11KOs).

The scheduled 12-round bout is promoted by Pinoy ring star Manny Pacquiao and is open to the public for free.

The 31-year-old Casimero, from Ormoc City, will defend the throne he seizd with a 12th round stoppage of Ricardo Espinoza last April 21 in his United States debut.

The winner of the Casimero-Ramirez duel is mandated to face WBO regular bantamweight titlist within 90 days or not later than December this year.

A thousand miles away from home at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Casimero’s fellow countryman Vic “Vicious” Saludar (19-3, 10KOs) of Polomolok, South Cotabato will risk his WBO minumumweight belt against Wilfredo “Bimbito” Mendez (13-1, 5KOs).

This marks for the second time that the 28-year-old Saludar will risk the title he won after dethroning Japan’s Ryuya Yamanaka on July 13 last year at the Central Gym in Kobe, Hyogo.

In his first defense, Saludar decisioned Masataka Taniguchi of Japan last February 26 at Tokyo’s historic Korakuen Hall.

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