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John Riel Casimero edges runner Guillermo Rigondeaux via split decision

Three-division champion John Riel Casimero made a second successful defense of his WBO world bantamweight title following a split decision victory over Guillermo Rigondeaux this Sunday at the Dignity Health Sports Park in California, USA.

Rigondeaux kept Casimero at bay in the opening round with his jab and threw power with his left. Casimero, meanwhile, pressed the action by going to the head and body.

Rigondeaux landed a hard left straight in round two. Casimero continued to stalk, cutting the ring effectively but had a hard time getting in without a jab.

Rigondeaux made Casimero miss his shots in round three as he circled the ring and utterly refused to exchange leather drawing boos from the crowd mostly comprised of Filipinos.

Rigondeaux rode his bicycle most of the fight while Casimero followed him around without throwing enough telling punches that could result in a stoppage.

The Filipino world champion took his aggression up a notch in round 9 as he went to the head and body with his hook and right straight. Rigondeaux responded by continuously circling the ring without throwing a punch.

Rigondeaux had let his hands go more often in the twelfth and final round. Casimero continued to stalk and invited him to trade in the center of the ring but to no avail.

Two judges saw the fight for Casimero, scoring the fight 116-112 and 117-111 while the other had it 115-113 for Rigondeaux, which ended the lackluster title fight in a split decision in favor of the Ormoc City native.

—JMB, GMA News