Weekend Recap: Casimero, Clavel Conquer Challengers



Weekend Recap: Casimero, Clavel Conquer Challengers
Photo Credit: Courtesy Juan Carlo De Vela, Manila Bulletin

 Results in action around the world this weekend you may have missed.

John Riel Casimero of the Philippines (33-4, 22 KOs) sent his fans home happy in Manila on Saturday with a win in an all-action fight against a surprisingly tough Fillipus Nghitumbwa of Namibia (12-2, 11 KOs). Scores for the unanimous decision were 116-110 twice and 114-112. Casimero wins the WBO Global secondary title.

Casimero was the overwhelming favorite to win his ninth straight fight. The former three-division champion got a fierce challenge from the tough Nghitumbwa, who took everything Casimero threw and kept coming at him. It made for a highly entertaining fight.

Thanks to a sixth-round knockdown and a point deduction for a punch behind the head taken from the Namibian, Casimero had a bit of a cushion on the scorecards. Casimero dropped Nghitumbwa with a left hook, and it did not seem he would survive to the end of the round. But he showed incredible toughness and determination, staying in the fight on shaky legs and getting it together to recover and keep fighting to the end.

Wild and Wildly Entertaining Fight


John Riel Casimero trained at the gym run by Rachel and Nonito Donaire, who were ringside for the bout in Manila. Photo: Courtesy Nonito Donaire/Twitter

Casimero was aggressive but wild, winging wide shots that didn't always seem to have a target. In his first fight outside Africa, the unknown Nghitumbwa handled his business well, connecting with hard rights to Casimero's head and working a jab. While he didn't get the victory, he made a name for himself and would make a worthy opponent for any top name in the bantamweight division.

Casimero has two victories since he lost his WBO bantamweight belt on the scale in his fight with mandatory challenger Paul Butler. With the WBO Global title, he will likely become the mandatory challenger for the Naoya Inoue vs. Stephen Fulton fight winner. Ouch.

On the undercard, super welterweights Takeshi Inoue of Japan (19-2-2, 11 KOs) and Weijon Mindoro of the Philippines (10-0-1, 10 KOs) fought to a draw.

Multiple division world champion Nonito Donaire and trainer/manager Rachel Donaire called the fight ringside for FITE.TV and were both assets to the production.

Kim Clavel Claws Her Way Back

Kim Clavel (left) bounced back from her first loss with a victory at home in Montreal Friday. Photo: Eye of the Tiger Promotions

Kim Clavel (left) bounced back from her first loss with a victory at home in Montreal Friday. Photo: Eye of the Tiger Promotions

Popular former world flyweight champion Kim Clavel of Montreal (17-1, 3 KOs) rebounded from her first loss in January with a solid decision victory over Naomi “La Chapita” Arellano Reyes of Nayarit, Mexico (9-3, 5 KOs), winning the WBC International and WBO intercontinental light flyweight title in front of her devoted hometown fans at Place Bell. Scores were 98-92 X 2 and 96-94.

Clavel, who worked as a long-term care nurse throughout the pandemic, lost her WBC and WBA titles to Yesica Nery Plata of Mexico by decision. The victory puts Clavel right back in the mix for a rematch with Plata and possible title fights with names like Seniesa Estrada, Yokasta Valle, Kenia Enriquez, or perhaps Gabriela Fundora if Clavel wants to give super flyweight a try.

Kim Clavel has multiple possible opponents, including a rematch with Yesica Nery Plata of Mexico. Photo: Eye of the Tiger Promotions

“Thank you to my whole team, a motivated, involved, and rigorous team,” wrote Clavel in French after the fight, praising them as experts who surround and support her.

Reports from Place Bell after the fight said Clavel, who ended up with two black eyes and stitches after the fight, still showed up at the bar inside Place Bell to greet her fans and celebrate with them.

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Gayle Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalist and the only woman journalist who is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). She is West Coast Bureau Chief based in San Diego, California.