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Casimero taps Pacquiao trainer

Nick Giongco

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JOHN Riel Casimero gets help from a key member of Team Pacquiao. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SEAN GIBBONS

A key member of Manny Pacquiao’s entourage will lend a hand in the pursuit of John Riel Casimero to beat fellow Filipino Nonito Donaire Jr. in their 14 August world bantamweight unification brawl in Carson, California.

Nonoy Neri admitted that it will be very difficult — but not impossible — to upset a fighter of Donaire’s caliber.

“Donaire is tried and tested and he has proven himself many times,” Neri told Daily Tribune.

His true worth showed when he forced Japanese Naoya Inoue to walk the tightrope in their November 2019 showdown.

Experience-wise, Donaire is the clear favorite as he is a four-division champion and, at 38, is a veteran of close to 50 fights (41-6 with 27 KOs).

Although Casimero has fought less, he has fought many times on hostile ground and even survived a full-blown riot in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 2012.

Armed with 34 fights (30-4 with 21 KOs), Casimero has also showcased his wares four times in Mexico, thrice in the United States, twice in England and once each in Panama, Nicaragua, South Africa, China and Thailand.

If there’s one thing that Neri raves about Casimero is his strong mindset.

“He has a winning attitude and doesn’t get intimidated just like Sen. Manny (Pacquiao),” said Neri, who shares training duties with Buboy Fernandez.

“That’s crucial.”

But then again, Neri swears it would entail more than just these things to derail Donaire’s bid to annex Casimero’s World Boxing Organization crown to his World Boxing Council strap that he just acquired recently when he scored a savage knockout of Frenchman Nordine Oubaali.

“Donaire is a fighter who has seen it all. You just can’t bully him or rattle him. He remains composed even in the thick of the battle.”

Pretty soon, Neri is going to join Casimero in America and they’ll work on finding a way to mess up Donaire for the very first time.

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