Complete chaos after Lazarte vs Casimero fight in Argentina

It's not recommended that you ever turn your back on Luis Zagarte (center). Just ask Johnriel Casimero (right) and referee Eddie Claudio (left).

On Friday night, flyweights 5’4” Johnriel “Quadro Alas” Casimero (16-2-0, 9 KOs) of Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines and Luis Alberto “El Mosquito” Lazarte (49-11-2, 18 KOs) of Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina took part in one of the most memorable bouts in the history of boxing.


Top flyweight Luis Lazarte poses for a photo.

Why is this bout so special? Not because it was for the interim IBF Flyweight Championship of the World. Not because it was one of the hardest fought fights or most likely the hardest in history for a referee to supervise. Not because a visitor from the Philippines was able to upset the local hometown hero.

This fight will be remembered because of the irrational behavior of the town’s boxing fans. The patrons of this event through ice, glasses, chairs and fists at the visitors.

Prior to the bout, the hometown hero, 40 year-old Lazarte of Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina was ranked the #1 light flyweight contender by the IBF while the WBC had him ranked #24. His opponent, 21 year-old Casimero, entered the bout ranked as the #3 light flyweight by the IBF and #33 by the WBC.

On his way to the ring, Lazarte, a very popular guy in Mar del Plata, waved to his fans, kissed a baby, and shook hands with the scores of friends and family.

After the bell sounded, the “anything-goes” war began. From that point, the boxers were either being scolded or having points deducted for every infraction imaginable. If they weren’t hitting their opponent behind the neck, they were delivering punches on the break. One low blow was in retaliation for a trip and push. Both boxers had knockdowns, used head locks, pushed down on the head, held, and Lazarte even resorted to biting Casimero on the shoulder.

Of all the dirty tricks by Lazarte, the most loathsome has to be his play acting as if he was the only one being wronged in this foul-laden fight. These gestures were crucial since they evoked anger in the partisan crowd which later triggered the riot.

New IBF interim Flyweight Champion of the World, Johnriel Casimero.

At the close of the fight, Casimero knocked Lazarte down twice in the 9th round, and once again in the 10th. Lazarte did get back to his feet but was getting snowed under by punches when referee Eddie Claudio stepped in to stop the bout.

Lazarte’s history of fight disqualifications

In his 16-year, 63-fight career, Lazarte has been involved in more than his share of fights ending in disqualification.

He was disqualified in his bouts with fellow Argentineans Marcelo Antonio Davila, Horacio Fabian Chicagual and Omar Andres Narvaez. The habit became too hard to contain. His fourth disqualification, a constant delivery of low blows, came against Edgar Sosa of Mexico.

The most recent disqualification came against another compatriot Juan Carlos Cejas, who kept taunting him. As a result, Lazarte punched Cejas twice on the way to his corner after the bell.

In both of Lazarte’s fights against Ulises Solis for the IBF light-flyweight title, he had points deducted for the repeated rabbit punching.

To appreciate the melee which followed the Lazarte’s technical knockout, it’s recommended you watch this video of the fight.

The comments received after seeing the video:

Luis Mejia: “This is an f***ing shame, if he did get hit, go after the referee. I hope they fine and arrest all those idiots, and I hope they review the video. You can see it appears that even the security guard takes a swing at the Filipino fighter. It’s just a shame. I’m Spanish and I don’t like being associated with ignorant circumstances like these. Shame on all of them.”

Edelio Senara Serojales: “Oh my GOD! I can’t believe how bad the people of Argentina are. They showed their true color to the whole world. They can’t accept defeat. May GOD forgive them for they do not know what they did. Congratulations to our new champion JR Casimero. Mabuhay!”

Aric Alvarez of Austin Tezas: “There not telling the whole story and making Argentina look bad. I’d put up a thousand dollars that those guys were acting like dumm kopfs and dancing around. He hit the other fighter with low blows to the groin. He got what he deserved. Spanish countries don’t play games.”

Augie Dy Saldivia:
“What a shame! Congratulations Joel, Mabuhay ka!”

Benjy Esteves: “I refereed Lazarte vs Solis II at the very same venue and the crowd went crazy after Lazarte lost his title. The promoter Osvaldo Rivero was one of the individuals that did nothing to protect the fighters much less the officials. Rivero went as far as threatening me in the ring after the fight saying, “a ti te va a pasar algo esta noche” translation: “something bad is going to happen to you tonight.”

“If you watch the video carefully there is a gentleman in a black suit tugging on referee Eddie Claudio. That same man was the one who protected and escorted me to safety from the ring that night. Needless to say, not all Argentines are ruthless. This man showed dignity and class. He was a stand up guy.”

After the audience had been cleared from the auditorium, the damage remained after the mini-riot.

Al Sanchez: “I could not see one law enforcement officer.  This scene is as though there is no order in that country!”

Jesse James Kelley: “Very bad indeed. There is an odd moment at the 1:03 mark. The guy in green with black jacket, center ring, is throwing punches when he is driven backwards. Just as he is about to fall on his ass, he reverses Matrix style and floats back up and continues throwing punches. Very odd looking.”

E. C. Storm: I would not be surprise if it happens again in the near future to an Argentinian fighter and his group in the Philippines. Go and fight in the Philippines and see what you get.”

Ant Gouv: “Muy triste. I am speechless. A few rotten apples spoil the cart.”

Yours truly: “With just three days before his 22nd birthday, what a birthday present for Johnriel Casimero.

“If the sanctioning bodies (WBO, IBF, and WBC) have any clout, they should seek out punish for the people involved and possibly the promoter for his lack of security. Where were the preparatory measures for a conceivable Casimero win?”

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