John Riel Casimero, Yukinori Oguni fight to technical draw in Japan

John Riel Casimero and Yukinori Oguni fought to a technical draw Thursday after Oguni was cut by an accidental headbutt in their junior featherweight bout at Ariake Arena in Koto-Ku, Japan.

Two judges had Casimero up 29-28 while the third had Oguni up by the same score at the point when referee Yuji Fukuchi waived it off at the 27-second mark of round four. The draw breaks up a nine-fight winning streak for the 34-year-old Casimero (33-4-1, 22 knockouts), a former IBF junior flyweight, IBF flyweight and WBO bantamweight titleholder from Ormoc City, Philippines who has fought three times as a junior featherweight after losing his 118-pound belt for failing to meet mandatory challenger Paul Butler.

The 35-year-old Oguni (21-2-3, 8 KOs) of Tokyo, Japan fights to a four round technical draw for the second straight fight, having had the same result in his previous bout against Keita Kurihara in May of 2022.

The result was an unsavory one, as the Casimero-Oguni bout was shaping up to be an exciting matchup. The bout began as promising as could be for Casimero, who stunned Oguni in the first round with a pair of overhand rights. Casimero came out aggressively once again in the second, driving Oguni into the ropes with a hook, to which Oguni answered with a left hook to the body which opened the door later in the round to a straight right hand. Casimero made the last statement of the round with an overhand which hurt Oguni.

After a slower paced third, Casimero again came out aggressively, but a head clash early in the fourth immediately brought the fight to a halt.

The card featured three other Philippines vs. Japan bouts.

Filipino veteran Froilan Saludar (34-7-1, 24 KOs) since his early days as a promising prospect, knocking out Keita Kurihara (17-8-1, 15 KOs) a minute into their OPBF bantamweight title fight. Saludar, 34, hurt Kurihara with a series of overhand rights before finishing him off with a well-placed uppercut.

Vince Paras (20-2-1, 15 KOs) of General Santos City, Philippines won a split decision over Kai Ishizawa (11-3, 10 KOs) in a flyweight battle of former title challengers, with two judges scoring the bout 77-75 and 78-74 in favor of the 24-year-old Paras, while the third had it 77-75 in favor of Ishizawa.

Former title challenger Jeo Santisima (22-7, 19 KOs) fell to his fourth loss in five bouts, losing a unanimous decision to Japanese upstart Kenji Fujita (5-0, 3 KOs) by the scores of 79-72 on two cards and 78-73 on the third.

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