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OPINION

What’s up, ref?

Not Thrilla in Manila referee Carlos “Sonny” Padilla but Japanese third man Michiaki Someya has a lot of explaining to do why he bungled his handling of Filipino banger John Riel Casimero’s controversial clash with Ryo Akaho a few days ago in Incheon.

You see, Someya warned Casimero of hitting Akaho on the nape in the second round of the scheduled 10-rounder even though it was crystal-clear that it was not intentional.

Akaho, who had been the recipient of Casimero’s thunderous blows moments ago, was quick to find an escape route.

He immediately motioned to the referee that Casimero had struck him illegally and that he was no longer in shape to resume fighting.

Instead of just shrugging it off, Akaho took acting to another level when he stumbled in a neutral corner, grabbing the back of his neck to tell Someya he was no longer capable of fighting.

He also started wincing and even got hold of an ice pack and placed it on his nape as Casimero waited for the referee to signal the resumption.

Instead, the fight was later stopped and declared a no-contest.

Though Akaho didn’t get what he wanted — perhaps a win by disqualification — he still got the better end of the deal because the fight had been stopped.

Just before Casimero landed that glancing blow, Akaho had felt his foe’s sheer strength and probably thought that he could end up being torn into pieces if he didn’t find a way out.

Akaho was running for his life when that happened because Casimero was enraged that the referee ruled a knockdown in favor of the Japanese even if he actually just lost his balance and footing during a mad rush to beat up his opponent.

It was Casimero’s first fight in 16 months and it didn’t end well for the third straight time for him,

After he beat Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba in Las Vegas, he was supposed to fight Dubai in December but he suddenly fell ill and the fight with Paul Butler was scrapped.

They were then rescheduled to meet last March in Liverpool, England, but again, Casimero flubbed it after it was discovered that he had violated a British boxing ruling regarding weight reduction.
The Akaho bout was supposed to be a coming-out party for the hard-hitting Leyte native.

But because Someya bungled his officiating, Casimero was left to deal with another setback.

I feel bad for Casimero, who I thought was on his way to decapitating Akaho had it not been for that acting masterpiece showcased by Akaho.

But the thing is, Casimero could have avoided such misfortune if only he stuck with MP Promotions.

Since he was no longer an MP Promotions talent, he could not be assured of solid protection from any wrongdoing.

It was obvious Casimero was being set up for the kill in Incheon.

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