The flyweight division never gets much respect. And at the current moment, pound-for-pound king Roman Gonzalez commands most of the attention in the 112-pound class. It’s only natural. Chocolatito has the potential to go down as an all-time great there.
Whatever interest isn’t paid to Gonzalez as 112 generally goes to his most promising potential rival at flyweight, Juan Francisco Estrada. Gonzalez beat Estrada in 2012, but that was at 108 pounds. It was a draining cut for Estrada and even then he gave Gonzalez the most competitive bout he’s had in recent years. Since that fight, Estrada has defeated a murder’s row of top flyweights, collecting two world titles and turning himself into an arguable pound-for-pound top 10.
On May 25 in Beijing, the IBF champion Amnat Ruenroeng fights a rematch with John Riel Casimero, who he defeated in a close bout in June of last year, by scores of 115-110, 116-110 and 113-112. Both of these guys are top 10 at flyweight and Ruenroeng is arguably the third best fighter on the planet at 112 pounds, behind only Gonzalez and Estrada.
Ruenroeng won the vacant IBF belt in January 2014 with a decision over veteran Rocky Fuentes. He derailed Top Rank Promotion’s great Chinese Hope, Shiming Zou, in March 2015.
Ar 26, Casimero is already a very experienced contender and a former world champion. He arrived as a true world-class fighter in December 2009 when he stopped Cesar Canchila in Round 11. He lost to Ramon Hirales and Moruti Mthalane in 2010 and 2011 but then won seven straight before losing to Ruenroeng in his last bout.
In December 2012, Casimero defeated former light flyweight champion Luis Alberto Lazarte for the interim IBF light flyweight title. Casimero became the regular IBF champion in his next fight, when he beat undefeated Pedro Guevera.
Casimero lost his light flyweight title on the scales in May 2014, before knocking out Mauricio Fuentes in Round 1. While he lost to Ruenroeng last year when challenging for a title at 112, he made a good showing and has the potential to remain in the scene at flyweight for at least the next few years.