The John Riel Casimero experience has hit American soil.
A noted road warrior from the Philippines who has fought in eight different countries, Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) made his U.S. television debut on Saturday and kicked off a pay-per-view doubleheader from the Mohegan Sun Arena with a spectacular defense of his WBO title.
Casimero, 31, dropped unbeaten Duke Micah (24-1, 19 KOs) in the second round and went on to finish him one round later to further announce himself as one of the most exciting and dangerous fighters at 118 pounds.
Micah, a native of Ghana, was aggressive and game early throughout an even opening round. But a big left hook from the wild Casimero sent him to the canvas in Round 2.
Casimero followed up on the assault, which featured a targeted focus to the body, with a pair of uppercuts in Round 3 that pinned Micah in the corner and forced referee Steve Willis to jump in and save him.
“I worked hard and got the win tonight. In the first round I saw the body shot hurt him and thought I could get him out right away, but he’s a good boxer who was undefeated for a reason,” Casimero said.
Landing an impressive 52% of his power shots, according to CompuBox, Casimero outlanded Micah 59 to 26 overall.
Micah was also lucky to even come out for Round 3 after the ringside doctor gave him a long look in the corner before saying, “You need to show me something.”
“The second round the uppercut hurt him, but Duke Micah works hard, he’s strong and has a good chin. I knew I was facing a good fighter, so I didn’t expect to knock him out so fast.
He’s strong so I was prepared to go all 12 rounds.” Casimero said.
Casimero is one of just four Filipino fighters to win titles in three weight divisions joining Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire and Donnie Nietes.
“I’m the real monster. Naoya Inoue is scared of me. You’re next. I would have knocked out anyone today,” Casimero said.
“If Inoue doesn’t fight me, then I’ll fight Guillermo Rigondeaux, Luis Nery, or any of the top fighters.”