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Ruenroeng frustrates Casimero, retains belt; Cuello excites, finishes foe



Filipino challenger Johnriel Casimero failed to dethrone the undefeated IBF flyweight kingpin Amnat Ruenroeng in their 12-round bout at the Hua Mark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday night.

Ruenroeng, who started boxing while serving his prison sentence, never gave an inch of opportunity to Casimero from the opening of the fight by effectively utilizing his reach advantage and sneaky clinch game; that disrupted the Filipino’s power punches.

Both pugilists were able to land perfectly timed punches after Ruenroeng was able to capitalize on a slip by Casimero with a left hook, sending him to the canvas in the second round. But the former WBO light flyweight titleholder returned the favor in the third canto by tagging the Thai champion with a counter left of his own that dropped the latter momentarily.

The 35-year old champ picked up the pace from the fourth round, asserting himself in the exchange in addition his deliberate clinches just before Casimero sets up for a combination, left the latter out of his game.

During the sixth round, “Quadro Alas” tried to rally back but was denied by the scrappy champion. The round saw both men almost falling out of the ring after a mad scramble, leaving the Ormoc, Leyte-born fighter visibly frustrated.

In the championship rounds, the reigning IBF titleholder made sure that the fight was already his, circling around the young challenger to keep him from a possible last second upset. The judges scored the bout 113-112, 115-110, 116-110 all in favor of the champion.

Ruenroeng remains undefeated in 16 fights and was able to defend the title in four fights since claiming it last year against Rocky Fuentes, while Casimero ends his seven fight win streak and drops his record at 21-3.

In the undercard, Denver Cuello knocked out Boy Tanto of Indonesia in their light flyweight tussle.

True to his “The Excitement” monicker, Cuello quickly scored an early knockdown in the second round after launching a devastating left straight to the body of Tanto before finally finishing him with a left hook followed by a body shot that left the referee with no choice but to stop the fight within 40 seconds of the fifth round.

According to his manager Aljoe Jaro, the win was a good sign that Cuello’s body has been recuperating well since injuring his rotator cuff in 2013, and hopes to get back in the title hunt at 105 pounds before the year ends.

“We’re still observing Denver’s shoulder,” said Jaro, “As of now, there’s no more pain which is a good sign. And hopefully before the year ends he gets a shot at Wanheng Menayothin [current WBC world minimumweight champion]. God willing.”

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