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MANILA, Philippines – Johnriel Casimero knocked down Filipus Nghitumbwa in the sixth round en route to a clear unanimous decision and the World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight crown on Saturday, May 13, at the Okada Manila Grand Ballroom in Parañaque.
The Filipino three-division world champion caught the Namibian with a wicked left hook, but Nghitumbwa proved tough to crack and lasted the full 12 rounds.
Two of the judges awarded Casimero with a 116-110 verdict, but the Japanese judge saw the fight closer at 114-112.
Apart from the knockdown, Nghitumbwa was also hounded by a one-point deduction slapped on him for excessively hitting the back of Casimero’s head in the last round.
The 34-year-old Casimero raised his record to 33-4 with 22 knockouts, while Nghitumbwa dropped to 12-2 with 11 knockouts.
Casimero said he did not underestimate Nghitumbwa, but credited the Namibian for his toughness.
“Matibay siya at mahaba (He was tough and has a long reach),” Casimero said in the post-fight interview. “Tinamaan din niya ako (He was also able to hit me).”
Masayuki Ito, Casimero’s promoter, said their next goal is for Casimero to figure in a world title eliminator or gain the No. 1 or No. 2 ranking before the year ends.
Of course, the primary goal is still to go after Naoya Inoue. But that could wait, according to Ito, who co-promoted the fight card with Johnny Elorde. – Rappler.com