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Boxing

Casimero edges ‘running’ Rigondeaux to retain WBO crown


In a bout that saw little action, John Riel Casimero retained his World Boxing Organization world bantamweight title, taking a split decision win over Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, Sunday (Manila time) at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

The scorecards went 117-111, 116-112, and 113-115.

“I wanted a knockout,” Casimero (31-4, 21KO) lamented. “Rigondeaux is always running, running.

“Rigondeaux always runs. No fighting.”

It was a frustrating night for Casimero that landed on the wrong end of boxing history.

According to Compubox, the 91 combined punches landed by both boxers ended up as the lowest in history. The previous record was 100, as set by Mario Barrios and Devis Boschiero back on July 9, 2016.

For most of the bout, the 40-year-old Rigondeaux fought tentatively. He ran around the ring, sometimes weaving but for the majority, simply avoiding engagements.

Despite landing just 44 shots, Rigondeaux believes he won.

“That’s the necessary amount of punches I needed to win this fight,” said Rigondeaux, who dropped to 20-2.

In other bouts, Zamboangueno Jonas Sultan returned from a two-year layoff, scoring a sensational seventh-round knockout win over late replacement Sharone Carter.

Sultan, who went up to 17-5, blasted the American with a series of combinations. Carter could not beat the eight-count at 2 minutes and 29 seconds of the penultimate round.

Another Filipino in Raymond Tabogon (22-13-1, 11KO) was stopped in the very first round by Juan Carlos Payano (23-5, 11KO) in the 118-pound fight.

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