Fightnews reported last week that unbeaten WBO light flyweight champion Iván “Iron Boy” Calderón (31-0, 6 KOs) of Puerto Rico and WBO interim light flyweight Johnriel Casimero (14-0, 8 KOs) of Cebu City, Philippines were soon to be headed for a showdown. Calderón’s promoter PR Best Boxing (Iván & Peter Rivera) and Casimero’s promoter Sampson Boxing LLC reached an agreement last week with the bout likely to take place at the end of May in Puerto Rico. Calderón wasted no time in getting himself back in the gym and spoke to Fightnews from his training camp in Puerto Rico.
How are you feeling now at the beginning of your training camp?
My conditioning is really good right now because I regularly keep myself in shape. I’m only 10 pounds over my fight weight limit as we speak.
Have you seen Casimero fight before?
I attended his last fight where he defeated former world champion César Canchila in Nicaragua.
What were your thoughts after seeing him fight?
He showed that he should be taken seriously and I will do just that as I do all my opponents.
Casimero knocked down Canchila several times in their fight. Do you think he is as strong as your former foe, the former world champion Hugo Cázares?
I don’t believe anyone is as strong as Cázares in the 108 pound division. The thing about Cázares is that his power is his biggest asset but Casimero, like Rodel Mayol, is very versatile and can do multiple things in the ring.
What are your thoughts on the rivalry developing between Puerto Rican and Filipino fighters?
I think it’s very good for boxing and definitely good for Puerto Rican and Filipino fighters in the lower weight divisions. There are lots of exciting fights to be made in the future.