FILIPINO International Boxing Federation junior flyweight champion John Riel Casimero knocked down Mexican Pedro Guevarra in the opening round to escape a split decision to retain his belt on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Mazatlan Convention Center in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Casimero sent Guevarra to his knees early in the first round with a left upper cut but the Mexican got back to his feet to finish the 12-round fight and even earned the nod of the second judge 114-113.
The Filipino champion received also a hairline 114-113 score from the first judge but got a convincing 116-111 score from the third judge to retain the title he won in a riot-marred fight in Argentina against hometown hero Luis Lazarte six months ago.
Against Guevarra, Casimero was hardly impressive though he was the aggressor most of the fight.
Casimero sent the Mexican fighter at least three times to his knees midway but the referee ruled all them slipped to the frustration of the Filipino champion.
With his victory, Casimero improved his ring record to 17-2 with 10 stoppages while the Mexican absorbed his first defeat in 20 fights with one draw and 13 knockouts.(PNA)