Earlier today in Paranaque in the Philippines, former three-weight champ John Riel Casimero, fighting at home for the first time in a few years, won a 12 round UD over Namibia’s Fillipus Nghitumbwa. There was some bad blood in the lead-up to today’s fight, with 34 year old Casimero vowing to “take his head off,” but the 27 year old who has never been stopped lasted to the final bell.
Casimero dropped his man with a left hook in round six, and he tagged Nghitumbwa with some more big shots during the at times exciting fight. In the end, scores were 116-110, 116-110 and 114-112, all for Casimero who is now 33-4(22) and the holder of the WBO global super-bantamweight belt. Nghitumbwa, who was having his first fight outside of Africa, drops to 12-2(11).
Casimero, often somewhat wild in the ring, came out fast, looking to put some hurt on his rival. The fight was fought at a pretty hot pace early, before Casimero settled down and took his time. Nghitumbwa had his moments for sure, his jab and right hand getting home. The knockdown in round six saw Nghitumbwa go down hard and he did well to survive and battle to the bell to end the round. Quite amazingly, Nghitumbwa looked totally recovered in round seven.
The younger man showed a good gas tank late in the fight, too, with Nghitumbwa’s jabs still being pumped out. In round 11, Nghitumbwa, sticking to his boxing, stunned Casimero with a nice right hand to the head. The 12th round was exciting and Nghitumbwa was also deducted a point for a rabbit punch. The two men slung out leather to the final bell.
All in all, a good fight. But Casimero will likely be disappointed he did not get the KO he wanted. This was the second win for Casimero since he was stripped of his WBO bantamweight title for failing to make weight ahead of his doomed fight with mandatory challenger Paul Butler.
How much can Casimero achieve up at 122 pounds?