Quijano: Cuadro Alas faces the Royal Flush

Jingo Quijano

A FIGHT on our 2020 wish-list has just materialized and it’s penciled to take place on April 25, 2020 at Las Vegas, Vegas. I’m talking about none other than the superfight at the bantamweight division, John Reil Casimero vs. Naoya Inoue

After Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) emerged victorious in the finale for the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament, edging out a game and still dangerous Nonito Donaire, the fight against Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) seemed like the natural progression of things, meritocracy-wise.

Casimero went on a tear last year. He knocked out all of his three opponents, the last one being the formidable Zolani Tete to annex the WBO bantamweight belt. With this unification bout, the WBA and IBF belts will also be at stake.

EDGE. Admittedly, the undefeated Inoue will undoubtedly have the edge. His gift of having hybrid fight-ending power coupled with speed in both hands have left a trail of opponents badly battered and outclassed.

To be able to hang with Inoue you have to have both power and speed, otherwise he will simply steamroll over you. Donaire still had plenty of both even at his advanced fighting age, forcing Inoue to respect him and be more wary and cautious than usual.

Despite having four losses on his resume, “Cuadro Alas” has plenty of both and he is peaking right now, a result of his career just happening to be clicking on all cylinders.

INCONSISTENT. The problem with Casimero has always been his inconsistency. When he shows up with the proper mindset and conditioning, he is almost unbeatable. Exhibit A is his victory over the prolific Zolani Tete. Exhibit B would be his victory in the rematch against world champion Amnat Ruenroeng.

The Thai fighter had beaten Casimero in their first encounter, knocking him down twice en route to a unanimous decision victory. But in the rematch, Casimero knocked out his one-time conqueror in the fourth round.

Casimero has also had weight issues earlier in his career. There was also a point where he had concurrent contractual and promotional problems. Back in 2017, this Last Rounder was ringside when a seemingly overconfident Casimero lost to compatriot Jonas Sultan of the ALA boxing stable. The latter would go on to fight Jerwin Ancajas for the world title fight, but lost.

When he is at his best, Casimero can be devastating. Otherwise, he is simply frustrating to watch.

Let’s hope we get the best version of Cuadro Alas on this fight. He will need all the card tricks up his sleeves when he faces the royal flush of the division in Inoue.

VERBATIM. “He’s not a professional boxer. It would be like me beating up a kid. It’s not a true fight. —Mikey Garcia on Manny Pacquiao vs. Conor McGregor (www.fightsaga.com )

LAST ROUND. It’s on my cousin, Atty. Dax Matthew M. Quijano, who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers!