John Riel Casimero showed challenger Duke Micah a real, world title fight experience.
Casimero displayed his punching power, aggressively halting Micah’s 24 fight-win streak with a one-sided, third-round technical knockout victory on Sunday to retain the World Boxing Organization bantamweight belt at the crowd-less Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.
Despite his showboating during the bout, the 31-year-old Casimero was relentless as Micah stood his ground and traded punches in the opening round. But it was a mistake, particularly in the second round when Micah was caught with a solid left straight that knocked him down.
“I worked hard and got the win tonight. In the first round, I saw the body shots hurt him and thought I could get him out right away. But he’s a good boxer who was undefeated for a reason,” Casimero explained to Showtime Sports after the fight.
Just like a great white shark that smelled blood in the ocean, the Ormoc City native stalked his wobbled prey, waiting for the kill. A thunderous uppercut and hard-hitting jabs landed on the former 2012 London Olympian, forcing referee Steve Willis to halt the beating with seconds to go in the third.
“The second round uppercut hurt him, but Duke Micah works hard. He’s strong and has a good chin. I knew I was facing a good fighter, so I didn’t expect to knock him out so fast. He’s strong, so I was prepared to go all 12 rounds,” said Casimero.
After celebrating and doing one-hand push ups, Casimero insulted original foe Japanese International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue for not pursuing their canceled April 25 bout due to the pandemic.
“I’m the real monster. Naoya Inoue is scared of me. You’re next. I would have knocked out anyone today. If Inoue doesn’t fight me, then I’ll fight Guillermo Rigondeaux, Luis Nery, or any of the top fighters,” he said.
Casimero, who improved to 30-4 win-loss card with 21 knockouts, can finally go home next week after spending seven months in the United States even before the pandemic to prepare himself for the canceled Inoue unification showdown.
Micah suffered his first loss in 25 bouts with 19 knockout wins. He finally experienced facing a world-caliber fighter.
According to the compubox, Casimero recorded 140 thrown punches, with 59 of them solidly hitting his rival. Micah, for his part, made 122 thrown punches, and only landed 26.