Ghanaian bantamweight boxer, Duke Micah will be presented with a rare opportunity to clinch a world title today when he mounts the ring against Filipino champion John Riel Casemiro in their World Boxing Organisation (WBO) showdown tonight.
A win for Micah known widely in his profession as the ‘Baby Face Terminator’ will return Ghana to a world title status after sole-bearer Richard Commey lost his IBF tiltle to Teofimo Lopez in his second title
defense after just two rounds.
This was after WBO champion Isaac Dogbe had suffered back-to-back defeats to Mexican Emmanuel Navarette to surrender his spot as the WBO super bantamweight holder.
The undefeated Micah (24 W, 19 KO’s) recognizes the chance to emboss his name alongside former Ghanaian champions and boxing greats including Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey and Nana Yaw Konadu. This closeness to
history has energized the 29-year old to embark on fervent preparations aimed at dethroning the Filipino.
Speaking ahead of the bout on Wednesday, Micah indicated his game had improved tremendously under new trainer Andre Rozier and therefore boxing fans can expect an exhilarating experience from him.
“I’ve never been more ready for a fight than I am for this one. Casimero is a good boxer but I’m a different fighter than I’ve been in the past. I’ve improved my game so much working with Andre Rozier.
“The fans will see it on Saturday night and they will love my new style,” Micah added. Micah who represented Ghana at the 2012 summer Olympics and is ranked 11th on WBO’s list is revered for his powerful jabs, moderate power and being a superb pound for pound boxer.
He may however require more those traits to beat Casimero who is a three division champion having clinched ultimate honours at the light flyweight , flyweight and bantamweight divisions and would mark his 11th appearance when he mounts the ring tomorrow.
Casimero (29-4, 20 KO’s) is regarded one of Philippines best fighters of the decade after winning three titles in three different divisions a feat that was achieved by accomplished compatriot Manny Pacquiao.
At age 31, the Filipino boasts an enviable record of eight victories and two defeats in his world title fights.
His strength lies in his experience, hard punches, aggression and his unrelenting stamina. One attribute both boxers share is their speciality in knockouts with Casimero recording a total of 20 KO’s in 29 bouts against Micah’s impressive 19 K0’s from 21 fights.
Casimero has been outspoken about defeating Micah to maintain his grip as the best in the division.
“This is a big opportunity to show the world who I am. I promise I will do my best this fight. I am extremely ready to give it my all.
“My opponent is a matured boxer with good experience but I’m going to be too strong for him. I believe I’m the best at 118-pounds,” he posited.
The Filipino has been inactive since pummeling South African Zolani Tete last November to win the WBO bantamweight crown.
However, Micah’s last bout was in December against Puerto Rican Janiel Rivera whom he overcame by a unanimous decision.
The fight is part of Showtime’s Premier Boxing Champions card involving five world championship bouts.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO