It looks like Filipino bantamweight world champion John Riel Casimero will have to rely mostly on experience once he touches gloves with Duke Micah in Uncasville, Connecticut, on September 26.
Although the Ghanaian fighter is unbeaten in 24 fights with 19 knockouts, he is relatively unknown.
"Micah's last 4 fights have actually been held in the US, but he has not really fought high-profile opponents, which explains the lack of coverage. In fact, he was even fighting an 8-rounder in his last fight," said boxing commentator Ed Tolentino.
Casimero was supposed to take on Naoya Inoue in a triple title unification, but the Japanese star boxer opted out and decided to take on Jason Moloney.
This prompted Casimero to accept the bout at Mohegan Sun Casino against Micah, ranked No. 11 in the bantamweight list by the WBO.
"Micah is coming in as a last-minute substitute for Naoya Inoue, so there is really very little time to scout him," Tolentino said.
But compared to Micah, Casimero has more impressive credentials.
Aside from being a veteran of 33 fights, he has won titles in 3 weight classes. He is also a well-traveled boxer and very experienced in fighting even in hostile territory.
"I think that Casimero remains the heavy favorite here. Micah has not fought anyone with the experience of Casimero . . .In fact, the biggest challenge for Casimero is not to look past Micah or understimate him. But all things normal, he should dismantle Micah," said the analyst.