John Riel Casimero, Fillipus Nghitumbwa
John Riel Casimero of the Philippines (left) and WBO Global Super Bantamweight champion Fillipus Nghitumbwa of Namibia (right) during the press conference ahead of their fight. Treasure Boxing Promotion/Johnny Elorde Management International


  • John Riel Casimero fought his way to a unanimous decision win over Fillipus Nghitumbwa
  • "As early as the first round I thought to myself, he is a durable guy," Casimero said
  • Casimero's promoter hinted that Naoya Inoue may be next up sometime soon

John Riel Casimero's redemption arc hit its mark as he successfully overcame the challenge presented to him by Fillipus Nghitumbwa during their bout this past Saturday, May 13.

Their battle marked Casimero's first-ever fight in his homeland of the Philippines, and while he came away with the win plus the title, it did not come without difficulties as Nghitumbwa was ready to fight.

"He took all my body shots and shook it off. As early as the first round I thought to myself, he is a durable guy. I tried to finish him early but did not want to be overconfident because he was prepared for the fight. I was surprised," Casimero said during the post-fight press conference.

"A lot of people said that my opponent was going to be an easy fight, but we all saw how good he is and he was really prepared. I did my best and showcased that I can win the fight."

An aggressive "Quadro Alas" greeted Nghitumbwa on his home soil, and soon enough, both men were swinging with the intention to knock each other out for the better part of the early rounds.

However, the dying moments of the fifth round saw daylight for Casimero as he landed combos that rocked "Energy."

Casimero then sent him crashing to the canvas in the sixth round with a left gook.

Nghitumbwa was able to pick himself up off the floor and still get into the fight as Casimero swung wildly in the hopes of adding a knockout victory to his tally that was at 22.

Namibian held on to finish the fight and was even able to land some hard shots of his own.

Despite his best efforts to mount a comeback alongside a point deduction in 12th round for hitting Casimero behind the head, judges awarded the win to the Filipino star, with the final scorecards reading 116-110, 116-110, and 114-112.

Masayuki Ito, who serves as Casimero's promoter, gave props to both men for putting on an impressive showing.

"It was a good, tough fight for John Riel Casimero and in the end, he won. Fillipus Nghitumbwa was a tough opponent," the Treasure Boxing Promotion chief stated.

"Now that Casimero won, we want to focus on the next fight around September or October. We are not sure of the next venue but upon seeing the crowd and the fans in the Philippines, we want more shows here."

Ito also noted that there is a possibility that Casimero finally gets his wish of fighting Naoya Inoue.

While stepping into the ring against "The Monster" from Japan is not yet set in stone, Casimero has an opportunity to keep bringing his stock up in his coming fights.

Guillermo Rigondeaux (L) fights John Riel Casimero (R) during their WBO Bantamweight title 12 round bout
Guillermo Rigondeaux (L) fights John Riel Casimero (R) during their WBO Bantamweight title 12 round bout at Dignity Health Sports Park on August 14, 2021 in Carson, California. Getty Images | Michael Owens