JOHNRIEL Casimero proved that he’s an elite bantamweight after an impressive stoppage win of defending World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight king Zolani Tete last Sunday dawn, Dec. 1, 2019 (RP time), at the Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, England.
Tete came in as the defending champion and was already eyeing a unification bout with World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue.
However, his plan was foiled after Casimero, the interim WBO bantamweight titleholder, stopped him in his tracks with a third round technical knockout.
At the onset, the 31-year-old Tete was wise to use his height and eight-inch reach advantage by using his jab as his main arsenal. He had success in the first few rounds by keeping Casimero away with his huge reach advantage.
But in the third round, Casimero timed a vicious uppercut to the temple of Tete while he was ducking. Casimero followed it up with a right hook that sent Tete to the canvass.
Tete survived the count but he was wobbly on his feet. The 30-year-old Casimero sensed that the end was near, so he pressured him and landed a couple of combinations that dropped Tete for the second time.
Though still dazed, Tete showed a ton of heart and stood up. But Casimero unleashed a flurry of heavy blows that forced referee Steve Gray to intervene and stop the fight in the 2:14 mark.
Casimero is now the regular IBF bantamweight champion and is a three-division titleholder. He improved to 29-4 with 20 knockouts.
Tete, in the meanwhile, saw his 12-fight winning streak end and dropped to 28-4 with 21 knockouts.
Casimero is now in a good position to get a huge fight against Inoue, who’s considered by most as the best bantamweight today. (EKA)