John Riel Casimero has racked up his 22nd knockout victory after the Korea Boxing Members Commission reversed its earlier ruling of a “No Contest” to a second-round knockout in favor of the Filipino three-division champion after a thorough review of the controversial fight.
Early this month, Casimero fought former world title challenger Ryo Akaho in a scheduled ten-rounder in Incheon, Korea.
The fight was ruled a No-Contest when Akaho complained that he had been hit illegally by Casimero.
A review not just by the Games and Amusements Board but by other parties showed that Akaho wasn’t fouled by Casimero but apparently found a way to avoid being knocked out.
Before Japanese referee Michiaki Someya mishandled the officiating, Casimero was on the attack, battering Akaho with power punches from all angles.
The GAB labeled the decision to overturn as the Koreans’ “commitment to sportsmanship and fair play.”
The win thus raised Casimero’s record to 32-4 with 22 knockouts as the latest development boosted his chances of getting called up for a shot at the world title.
Before the infamous Akaho episode, Casimero had been in a tailspin after being stripped off the World Boxing Organization bantamweight belt for back-to-back infractions relative to making weight.
Turning 34 in February 2023, Casimero is widely believed to be one of just a few fighters who have what it takes to beat Japanese Naoya Inoue, the undisputed world bantamweight champion.
Armed with crippling power and a flashy persona, Casimero had also won world titles at light-flyweight and flyweight before campaigning at bantam.
His recent bout with Akaho was fought at super-bantam, fueling speculations that the Leyte native is determined to land a megabuck and explosive encounter with the equally heavy-handed Inoue.