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John Riel is for real

The way I train and prepare is what gives me the confidence to say these things

Nick Giongco

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John Riel Casimero is the cockiest fighter I know outside of Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali.

The way Casimero sizes up an opponent and the manner by which he belittles a foe is the stuff of legend.

For Casimero, the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight champion, nobody comes close to his level of competence.

Not even Japanese pride Naoya Inoue, the man nicknamed Monster and regarded as one of the best in the world pound-for-pound.

Inoue, you see, holds two versions of the bantamweight title.

He currently has the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation 118-lb straps around his waist.

On 19 June in Las Vegas, Inoue will make a mandatory defense against Filipino challenger Michael Dasmariñas.

Sadly, oddsmakers believe Inoue will devour Dasmariñas whole without any hesitation.

If that happens, it will be good news for Casimero, who is itching and raring to show everyone that he, known as Quadro Alas (Four Aces), is the top dog in the division.

“Inoue is a Japanese turtle,” Casimero told Japanese online interviewers the other day.

Casimero’s frustration dates back to last year when his scheduled showdown with Inoue was scrapped owing to the coronavirus.

They were originally set for battle on 26 April in Las Vegas but Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum was forced to cancel it.

Casimero thought Top Rank would reschedule it; but the Leyte-born banger was dead wrong.

Arum did not revisit the fight and instead pitted Inoue against Jason Moloney of Australia.

Casimero, heartbroken, was compelled to fight another guy: Ghanaian Duke Micah.

Inoue blasted Moloney in seven rounds while Casimero demolished the African in three.

“All of Inoue’s fights are easy except when he faced Nonito Donaire (in November 2018),” Casimero said, noting how Inoue almost lost to the faded Fil-Am in their Japan duel.

As he waits for the outcome of Inoue versus Dasmariñas, Casimero is also lined up to see action.

The date 21 August is the likely date of Casimero’s slugfest with Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time World Championships titleholder, three-time World Cup titlist and seven-time Cuban national ruler.

And yes, Casimero didn’t mince words in dissing his fancied foe.

“I will break his face and I am challenging him not to run away when we finally get to fight,” Casimero said.

Told that many fans view him as too cocky, Casimero says he can back it up with his performance on top of the ring.

“The way I train and prepare is what gives me the confidence to say these things.”

Besides, Casimero swears he has Manny Pacquiao’s killer moves.

You gotta believe him. He has proven it time and again and is eager to do it again soon.

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