Casimero eyes 3rd-round win vs Rigondeaux

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IF trash talk kills, Filipino John Riel Casimero and Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux should be dead by now.

Both boxers traded the usual barbs during the final news conference on Friday ahead of their fight on Sunday (Manila time) at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, where Casimero, 32, stakes his World Boxing Organization bantamweight title against the 40-year-old Rigondeaux.

“I have a surprise for [Guillermo] Rigondeaux on Saturday night. He will maybe last three rounds…don’t run,” Casimero (30-4 win-loss record with 21 knockouts) told the Cuban challenger, one of the best counter-puncher and tactical fighter to date.

Rigondeaux (20-1 record with 13 knockouts) threw Casimero a smile during the traditional stare down pointing his finger to the champion’s belt, telling everyone that he’s not scared or intimidated by the Filipino’s knockout prowess.

“All these jokers always talk a lot about making me retire, but they have to do it in the ring,” Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, said. “Let’s see what you do on Saturday.” Casimero is coming off consecutive third-round knockout victories over former world champion Zolani Tete of South Africa o n November 30, 2019, in Birmingham and over Duke Micah of Ghana last September 26 in Connecticut.

But the fighter known as “El Jackal” is unperturbed during the news conference organized by Showtime, Premier Boxing Champions  and TGB Promotions.

“He has knocked out six guys in a row, but none of them are in the same class as me. He’s going to have the devil in front of him on Saturday,” said Rigondeaux, telling Casimero that will be his third Filipino victim after Nonito Donaire (2013) and Drian Francisco (2015).

“Everyone is going to see what I’m about on Saturday. I don’t have to tell anyone what’s going to happen now, you’re going to see it all in the ring,” the Cuban said. “I’m not worried about his talking. I always do my best talking with my fists and in the ring.”

Casimero, honed for the fight by Pacquiao’s assistant trainer Nonoy Neri, warned Rigondeaux that he’ll be done on Sunday.

“I know how to manage my game plan against Rigondeaux, but I’ll leave it as a surprise for him,” Casimero said. “I’ve stopped my last six opponents and Rigondeaux is next. He’s ‘finito.’” “If I finish Rigondeaux, then maybe [Nonito ] Donaire or [Naoya] Inoue will be next,” Casimero added.

Another Filipino, Jonas Sultan (16-5 record with 10 knockouts), fights in the Casimero-Rigondeaux undercard American southpaw Sharone Carter (12-4 record with three knockouts) in an eight-round non-title bout.

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