John Riel Casimero KO's Zolani Tete to become official WBO bantamweight champ

  • John Riel Casimero KO's Zolani Tete to become official WBO bantamweight champ

John Riel Casimero KO's Zolani Tete to become official WBO bantamweight champ

Casimero became the official WBO bantamweight champion after knocking out Zolani Tete in their bout in Birmingham.

The three-division world champion scored his 20th career knockout and moved up to 29-4 in his career.

Tete's 2019 has been anything but a good inside the ring.

It came about once Tete was fully healed, and of the knowledge that he would likely concede home field advantage.

Casimero, who previously held a light flyweight and flyweight world title, has been on a tremendous run since he chose to move away from fighting at super flyweight ever since a 12-round decision loss to Jonas Sultan in 2017. "But I am strong", Casimero said. "They tell me where the fight is and I go".

Casimero, who was the interim champion due to injuries Tete suffered that forced him to withdraw from the World Boxing Super Series, stunned his South African opponent, who was doing fine after the first two rounds, with a right uppercut to his temple that knocked him down in the third round.

It was a landmark win for the Ormoc, Leyte-born Casimero, who captures his third world championship in as many weight divisions, joining the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire Jr., and Donnie Nietes as the only Filipinos to win world titles in three weight divisions.

"Getting credit as the ultimate road warrior doesn't matter to me", notes Casimero, who is angling for another road trip as he is eager to face unbeaten, unified bantamweight titlist Nayoa Inoue (19-0, 16KOs) next year in Japan.