“I’d just let my manager decide,” is a common answer of Filipino boxers when asked if they’d like to fight a certain boxer. I think it’s because they are afraid to sound humbug in a sport, which, for close to two decades, Pinoy boxers have been measured to Manny Pacquiao’s standards.
I think the closest thing I got to a Pinoy boxer calling out other champions was when Donnie Nietes said he’d like to fight the other champions of his divisions over a year ago when he relInquished his belt. Nothing good came out of that challenge, heck, I don’t think he even got a response.
Then there’s Johnreil Casimero.
Hours after beating then undefeated Duke Micah in just three rounds, there’s an interesting 46-second clip circulating on Twitter where the ecstatic champ challenged Japanese champion fighter Naoya Inoue, who is undefeated in 19 fights with 16 KOs, earning the moniker “Monster.”
Appearing with someone who I presume was his manager, Casimero said the Japanese fighter was no monster—at which point, the guy at his left interrupted, pointing to Casimero and said, “He’s the real monster.” The Pinoy said, deriding the champ, adding, “You’re a Chinese, no, Japanese turtle.”
I couldn’t help but smile.
I know that the challenge may turn off some Pinoy boxing fans and that Casimero shouldn’t have done that but this is boxing and anything is par for the course. You want the big fights? Don’t wait for it. Go for it. Do anything to get into the fight radar of the guys you want to face.
Inoue is set to defend the WBA and IBF titles—Casimero owns the WBO version—on Oct. 31 against Jason Maloney in Las Vegas. Because this is the Japanese’s first fight in the Sin City and because of Casimero’s well-timed tirade, some journalist is bound to ask the Japanese what he thinks of the challenge.
His reply, would be Act 2 of the Casimero vs. Inoue pre-fight drama.
Like I said, it’s boxing. I mean, aren’t we having a Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones fight because of a clip showing how fast Iron Mike is still in his 50s?
Now, to those fans, especially the Bisaya fans, turned off by Casimero’s tirade, I hope you watched the clip until the end so you’d know everything was all an act.
The guy Casimero appeared with seemed to egg him on and I think the whole thing was the guy’s idea. But when Casimero seemed to be faltering, pointing to his brain to emphasize what he was thinking, he looked to a guy to his right, who was off screen and mumbled...
“Unsa nang kuan, pre? Kanang... f*** ‘ning English.”
Like I said, it’s boxing.