by Nicholai Rhiz Roska
LOS ANGELES -- For the sake of action-loving, blood-thirsty fight fans who will troop to the Dignity Sports Health Park in Carson, California or watch the bout on television, reigning WBO bantamweight champion Johnriel Casimero only has one wish when he fights Guillermo Rigondeaux this coming August 14.
"I want this to be a fight. The fans want this to be a fight. I hope Rigondeaux doesn't run. If he does, this will be a boring fight," said the 32-year old Filipino brawler during the virtual press conference hosted by Showtime network's Brian Custer.
Hopefully, the 40-year old Rigondeaux, a two-division champ and a two-time Olympic gold medalist will heed the request, but a view of the elusive Cuban's history suggests that he will fight from the outside and would rather stay clear as far as possible from Casimero's dreaded bombs.
After all, Casimero wields a dangerous record of 30-4 with 21 KOs.
Rigondeaux, on the other hand, is a tactician with a less lethal 20-1 slate with only 13 stoppages. And he will look to use his one-inch height advantage and four-inch reach advantage to keep the Pinoy at bay.
Easier said than done. The superbly conditioned Casimero, who is fighting out of the famed Manny Pacquiao Promotions, has the stamina to chase his opponent from pillar to post in the course of 12 rounds.
"I'm so ready for this fight. Training camp has gone so well and I'm just ready to rumble," added Casimero who has been training under the watchful eyes of renowned strength and conditioning coach Memo Heredia.
At a separate interview with Sports On Air at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles, Casimero told this writer that he is eager to get the job done and continue on with his quest to unify the devision by beating Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire who hold the other versions of the 115-pound belt.
But Rigondeaux is unfazed.
As for the thought of fighting the Filipino toe-to-toe, the Cuban was non-commital.
"It's about patience before everything. That's how I live. Whoever is standing across the ring from me on fight night, I will be ready for his regardless." (NRR)