MANILA, Philippines - Johnriel Casimero, one of the youngest among the latest breed of Filipino world champions, is one of four top boxers to be honored during the formal rites of the 14th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Awards and Banquet of Champions on March 25 at the Tent City of the Sofitel Hotel.
Casimero, 24, retained his IBF light flyweight crown thrice, twice in 2013 when he scored a unanimous decision over Luis Alberto Rios of Panama in Panama City on March 16 and an 11th round TKO of Felipe Salguero also of Panama in Makati on Oct. 26.
Others to be given the highest honors during the awards night, held in memory of boxing legend Flash Elorde, undefeated world junior lightweight champion for a record seven years from 1960, are WBO light flyweight Donnie Nietes, 24-year-old WBO minimumweight champion Merlito Sabillo and comebacking Nonito Donaire who crushed Vic Darchinyan in a rematch on Nov. 9 in Texas.
Manny Pacquiao, the only Filipino to win world titles in eight different divisions, has already etched an honored place in the Banquet of Champions, having received the best boxer award for three consecutive years.
Also to be awarded are Filipino international and Philippine champions. Special awards will be given to the best referee, promoter, matchmaker, judge and most promising fighter and best fight of the year, while citations will be given to individuals and entities that contributed to professional boxing in the 2013.
Laura Elorde, wife of The Flash, will present the awards in behalf of the Elorde family.
The event, staged by the Johnny Elorde International Management, is sponsored by Cobra Energy Drink, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and Pagcor.