John Riel Casimero stuns Zolani Tete with third-round stoppage win

John Riel Casimero vs Zolani Tete
Casimero celebrates after defeating Tete Action Images/Reuters/Peter Cziborra
John Riel Casimero is the new WBO bantamweight champion after stopping Zolani Tete inside three rounds in Birmingham, England

JOHN RIEL CASIMERO is now a three-weight world champion having stopped pre-fight favourite and WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete inside three rounds tonight (November 30) in Birmingham, England.

The Filipino slugger, last seen in the UK halting Charlie Edwards inside 10 rounds (in 2016), carried the WBO interim title into the ring but can upgrade that to the full title following a stunning victory over a man in Tete who was being touted as a future opponent for Naoya Inoue, winner of the recent World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament.

Despite an inauspicious start, which saw Casimero throw and miss plenty, he found his range in the third round, cracking Tete in close with a right hook, then following it with a second hook. The first shot discombobulated Tete, 28-4 (21), and the second forced him to the canvas.

From there the South African struggled to recover. He got to his feet but had neither his wits about him or his legs beneath him. A second knockdown was inevitable and referee Steve Gray finally signalled enough was enough as Casimero, 29-4 (20), swarmed in to finish.

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  • The WBO forced Tete to take on mandatory challenger Casimero despite being out of boxing for a year and having a bad shoulder problem for much of that time.
    Tete needed to be at his best for such a high calibre opponent and he was far from that. I hope he eventually gets back into top shape and gets a chance to put this right at some point in the future.


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