ANALYSIS: Aside from fighting opponents, Casimero has to cope with distractions

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 26 2022 05:46 PM

John Riel Casimero (right) in one of his fights. File photo
John Riel Casimero (right) in one of his fights. File photo

Aside from preparing for his title defense this April, WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero also has to deal with distractions outside the ring.

And it's not helpful for the flamboyant fighter from Ormoc City.

One of the latest issues that hit the heavy-handed Casimero is a sexual abuse case filed against him by a minor.

Police have already forwarded the case to the Prosecutor’s Office and a subpoena may be issued soon.

"For the record, itinanggi na ni Casimero ang kayang tinatanggap na akusasyon at sinasabi niya na ito'y fabricated," said boxing analyst Atty. Ed Tolentino. "Pero alam natin hindi lang ito ang problemang kinakaharap ni John Riel Casimero."

Among the setbacks that affected the champion's career recently is his feud with former handler MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons, the huge pay cut he incurred due to a purse bid that resulted from the feud, and his trouble making the 118-pound bantamweight limit. 

Casimero's camp claimed the boxer suffered gastritis shortly before the weigh-ins, forcing promoters to reschedule his mandatory title defense against Paul Butler to April.

"Swerte nga na tinaggap ng WBO yung kanyang medical explanation and he was allowed to retain his title," said Tolentino. "Pero napansin natin na medyo napupuno na rin yung WBO."

Casimero is now training in the US for his title defense.

Another fight analyst, Dennis Principe, said that the police case is no laughing matter as promoters and the even the WBO might look into it.

"Ano ang magiging reaction ng kanyang American promoter? Pati 'yung organization na in a way napagbigyan siya?" said Tolentino. "People were really expecting him to be stripped of the title but he was given a chance."

"Will the WBO do something about this? yung pagiging champion who he carries himself outside the ring, may mga organizations kasi na maingat."

Part of the distractions were caused by Casimero's "bad boy" persona being used to make himself more "marketable."

"If I were him I'd focus on training," said Principe. "Kung talagang hindi maiwasang magvlog, instead of castigating fellow boxers, giving negative comments about situations particular boxer, mas maganda na lang focus sa training, ipinakita kung anong ginagawa niya."

"But to project himself a non-protagonist, it may backfire. It's probably already backfiring. It's not too late for him. Mayroon pa ring time for him to repackage himself. After all hawak pa rin niya ang titulo."