John Riel Casimero, Fillipus Nghitumbwa
The Philippines' John Riel Casimero (left) and reigning WBO Global Super Bantamweight champion Fillipus Nghitumbwa of Namibia pose for photos during the pre-fight press conference. Philippine News Agency/Twitter


  • John Riel Casimero faces Fillipus Nghitumbwa on Saturday, May 13
  • "I am going to take his (Fillipus Nghitumbwa) head off," Casimero says
  • Casimero will fight in the Philippines for the first time since 2019

Filipino boxing star John Riel Casimero is aiming to make his way back to the top of the boxing world as he takes on current WBO Global super bantamweight champion Fillipus Nghitumbwa this Saturday, May 13 at Okada Manila in Paranaque, Philippines.

The outspoken Casimero has never been one to be afraid of voicing out his opinions regarding his opponent, and Nghitumbwa was not safe from the sharp tongue of "Quadro Alas."

With both challenger and champion facing off each other at the Elorde Ballroom in Sucat, Paranaque for the pre-fight press conference on Thursday, May 11, Casimero called his shot.

"I am very excited for this fight. I am going to take his (Fillipus Nghitumbwa) head off. Thank you to all who came here, especially to the press and our promoters. Fight day is almost here, it would be a great fight," Casimero boldly declared.

The super bantamweight titleholder responded in kind, claiming that he is "more than ready" to fight one of the Philippines' current boxing stars while also stating he can "take this guy out."

Casimero's last fight saw him defeat Ryo Akaho in their December 2022 encounter in South Korea, and whispers were growing at the time that he would be fighting again very soon.

Hearsay then turned into reality as it was revealed in March of this year that he would indeed be stepping between the ropes once again, but this time, it would be in his home country.

The bout against Nghitumbwa marks the first time Casimero would fight on home soil since 2019 when he knocked out Cesar Ramirez in 10 rounds to retain the WBO interim bantamweight strap.

During a conversation with reporters in March, the brash Filipino made it known that he is not afraid of fighting someone taller than him, even stating that "his (Nghitumbwa) head's going into the stands" if the champion is not careful.

Despite being a controversial figure in the boxing world for his sometimes-ill-fated public statements, Treasure Boxing Promotion chief Masayuki Ito chose to bring in the power puncher to his stable fighters and could not be any happier to hold the fight in the Philippines.

"This will be the first time that we are promoting in the Philippines so we are hoping that it is going to be an amazing day. We know that there are a lot of Filipino boxers and we hope to promote more events in the future," Ito mentioned.

With another shot at redemption awaiting him after his bout with mandatory title challenger Paul Butler fell through in 2021, Casimero will want nothing more than to prove his doubters wrong to kickstart 2023.

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