Filipino boxing champion John Riel Casimero will be coming in as a heavy underdog against Japanese knockout artist Naoya Inoue this April 25.
But being the underdog is not new to the 3-weight division world champion from Ormoc City.
"Lagi naman akong underdog sa lahat ng laban ko. Nasanay na ako sa underdog status na 'yan," Casimero told ABS-CBN News in a telephone interview.
"Diyan na lang malalaman sa laban. Lahat ng laban na underdog ako, napabagsak ko naman. Si Inoue pa kaya?"
One perfect example of Casimero's shock win was his title victory over Zolante Tete.
The highly touted South African was pegged as the favorite in their November 2019 fight, but Casimero managed to knock him out in 3 rounds.
Casimero is now busy training in Miami, where he has been receiving valuable training tips from conditioning coach Memo Heredia.
"Magaling siyang magturo. Magaling siyang magkondisyon sa akin," he said. "Pagdating sa training hindi ka napapagod at malakas ang resistensya. Kahit 5 oras na ensayo hindi ka napapagod."
Casimero said conditioning will be crucial in his title unification bout against Inoue.
"Magagamit talaga ang kundisyon kasi kargado ang katawan at sanay sa bakbakan. Hindi tayo matatapos agad, kasi ang katawan natin may pwersa, kahit anong suntok kayang tanggapin o kayang ilagan," he explained.
Casimero will be staking his WBO bantamweight title while Inoue will be bring to the table his WBA (Super), IBF, The Ring, and vacant lineal bantamweight titles.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.