Tuesday, May 30, 2023  |


Fillipus Nghitumbwa likes his chances against ex-champ John Riel Casimero in Philippines

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Fighters Network

Unheralded junior featherweight Fillipus Nghitumbwa will have the opportunity to gatecrash the world scene when he faces former world champion John Riel Casimero at the Okada Manila Hotel and Casino in Paranaque City, Philippines, on Saturday.

It is the sort of fight the chance the 27-year-old Namibian has long yearned but had to patiently bide his time and wait for.

“I believe this fight [has] come at the right time as I was preparing for a fight on March 15 in Australia versus Luke Boyd but this fight was postponed,” Nghitumbwa (12-1, 11 knockouts) told The Ring. “I am very excited to fight a three-division former world champion as it gives me the opportunity to show the world my natural talent and to display my boxing skills. I respect his record and pedigree but I will come with my own [resume.]”

Although this is Nghitumbwa’s first fight outside Africa as a professional it’s not altogether new to him.

“I have been fighting outside Namibia as an amateur and fought also in Zimbabwe as a professional but that fight was never recorded on Boxrec,” he explained. “But I am comfortable to fight anywhere in the world.”

The power-punching African, who is a father of three and works in his managers construction business when he’s not training, knows victory would be very significant for his career.

“This is a great opportunity for my career as a win will open up great doors,” he said. “Every sportsman’s dream is to become a world champion and that is my dream as well. 

“After the May 13 the world and the boxing fraternity will take note of this African warrior. This fight will end in a great stoppage and I will be smiling for greatness.”

The Namibian will arrive in the Philippines seven days prior to the fight. He will fly from Windhoek to Johannesburg to Hong Kong into Manila. The total time of the journey is around 27 hours.

Nghitumbwa’s handler Nestor Tobias is bullish about his fighter’s prospects.

“It’s good opportunity for my fighter and my country as I trust this is the right time for him to get a fight of this magnitude,” said Tobias. “It will be tough but a win will open doors for him.”

This has the makings of a fan-friendly shootout between two big punchers. It is a huge step up for Nghitumbwa and we won’t know if he’s capable of pulling the upset until the fight begins. There comes a time when you have to see what you’re made of an this is that moment for Nghitumbwa.

Casimero (32-4, 22 KOs) rebounded after losing to IBF flyweight beltholder Moruti Mthalane (L TKO 5) to win world titles at 108 and 112. The globetrotting Filipino power-puncher has outpointed Pedro Guevara (SD 12), scored a revenge win over Amnat Ruenroeng (KO 4) and halted Charlie Edwards (TKO 10).

He moved up to junior bantamweight but lost to compatriot Jonas Sultan (UD 12). Following a period of reflection, Casimero moved to bantamweight and, as underdog, stopped Zolani Tete (TKO 3) to win the WBO 118-pound title. He made two defenses, which included edging past Guillermo Rigondeaux (SD 12) in an ugly battle. 

Casimero was due to face mandatory challenger Paul Butler in Dubai, but succumbed to a mysterious stomach ailment at the 11th hour. The bout was rescheduled for April 2022, but Casimero broke BBBofC rules when he used a sauna during fight week and got himself pulled from the card. The WBO decided enough was enough and stripped the Filipino. He has since returned beating Ryo Akaho (KO 2).

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on 

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