After having his planned fight against Australian boxer Luke Boyd abruptly postponed, Namibia’s Fillipus ‘Energy’ Nghitumbwa has been thrown another lifeline after it was announced that he will now face Filipino opponent John Riel Casimero.
Nghitumbwa’s WBO global super bantamweight title will be on the line when he takes on three-division former world champion Casimero on 13 May at the Okada Manila Hotel and Casino in Manila.
Relishing this new opportunity, a hyped Nghitumbwa said he respects and appreciates Casimero’s track record and vast experience, but maintained that he is equally determined to make his presence felt on the global stage and that journey will start with Casimero.
“I am extremely excited to fight a three-division former world champion in his own backyard. I respect his record and pedigree but I will come in with my own as this will be a huge fight and a huge opportunity for me. Like I always say, you need to fight the best in order to become the best and this is my opportunity to make a name for myself and for my country. I’m ready for Casimero,” a raring Nghitumbwa said.
His promoter Nestor Tobias of the MTC Sunshine Promotions said they are excited to secure such a high-profile fight for Nghitumbwa, adding that the fight will mark a significant turning point in the life and career of the 27-year-old Namibian fighter.
“He was obviously very disappointed that his planned fight against Boyd could not go ahead but we assured him that we will get an even better fight, and it does not get any better than a fight against such a highly-acclaimed three-division former world champion like Casimero. The Filipino is a talented boxing star. We have opted to face the best so that we can show the world what Nghitumbwa is made of and we wish him all the best for this mega fight,” said Tobias.
The bout will be Casimero’s first fight on home soil since 2019 when he knocked out Cesar Ramirez Lora at the San Andres Civic and Sports Centre in Manila. It will also be Casimero’s first fight of 2023, as the 34-year-old Filipino’s last fought in December 2022, when he defeated Ryo Akaho via stoppage.
Casimero will bring an eight-fight winning streak into the May bout, highlighted by his stoppage of Zolani Tete in November 2019 which earned him the WBO world bantamweight belt. Casimero has held world titles in junior flyweight, flyweight, and bantamweight.
Meanwhile, Nghitumbwa has a 12-1 win-loss record. He has won his last 12 fights since dropping his professional debut in September 2017. The bout against Casimero will mark his first fight outside of his home country.
Nghitumbwa is currently ranked number 12 while Casimero is ranked number fifth on the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) world rankings.
Casimero has a total of 36 bouts of which he won 32 (22 via knockout) and lost four (1KO).