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


  • John Riel Casimero talks about his May 13 bout in his home country
  • "If he doesn't move his head, his head's going into the stands," Casimero says
  • Casimero has been in hot water a lot of times throughout his career

Filipino boxing star John Riel Casimero is set to bring his skills into the boxing ring once again on May 13 when he fights Namibia's Fillipus Nghitumbwa in the Philippines with a confidence that has made him a star.

Speaking with reporters on Sunday, March 26 (Philippines time) alongside new promoter Masayuki Ito of Treasure Boxing Promotions, Casimero answered a few questions about how important the upcoming bout will be.

"For me, all of my fights are 'home field advantage' because I just really want to show the world that I'm good at what I do. Wherever it's going to be held, especially here in the Philippines, I feel even stronger because you can really see the fans showing their support," Casimero said in his native tongue.

The May 13 bout marks his first fight in the Philippines since his stunning 10th-round knockout victory over Cesar Ramirez to retain his WBO interim bantamweight title back in August 2019.

Casimero would go on to win the WBO bantamweight title itself after a win against Zolani Tete three months later.

Boxing fans around the world would remember that Casimero was scheduled to defend that same title against Paul Butler in late 2021 at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, but he withdrew before the weigh-ins happened due to viral gastritis.

It was rescheduled to April 2022 in Butler's home country of England, but the British Boxing Board of Control (BBoC) did not allow Casimero to fight due to a medical guidelines violation.

Casimero was eventually stripped of his title in May after failing to defend his title against Butler, which elevated the Cheshire, England native to become a full-fledged champion.

The Leyte, Philippines-born super bantamweight has rubbed the public the wrong way a few times throughout his career, as exemplified by his headline-making gesture towards Naoya Inoue in 2021, but has since clarified that he only plays a character in such instances.

"My character of 'Quadro Alas' did wonders for me in my career, but I'm really a quiet person outside of the spectacle of boxing. That side of me does have a kind of swagger to it because that's what the people want to see and it might even affect some of my opponents too," Casimero stated.

"I had to do it because I'm fighting against high-ranked boxers now. I'm just thankful that the fight is happening here," he added while casually slipping in a jab at Nghitumbwa by claiming that "it's gonna be an easy fight for me."

His daring confidence has made him a controversial fighter, but it cannot be denied that the 5-foot-4 fighter has a solid fanbase in his home country and it would not be a surprise if he sells out the Okada Manila Hotel and Casino in Parañaque, Philippines for his fight against Nghitumbwa.

He does have one prediction regarding the fight.

"I'm used to facing opponents taller than me. In my last fight, I only needed three rounds to get the win. If he doesn't move his head, his head's going into the stands. Believe me," Casimero warned.

John Riel Casimero
John Riel Casimero (blue trunks) and Charlie Edwards (white trunks) in action during their IBF Flyweight Title contest at The O2 Arena on September 10, 2016 in London, England. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images