MANILA – Filipino boxer John Riel Casimero is back as world champion. He clinched the WBO bantamweight belt with a third round stoppage win over Zolani Tete of South Africa on Sunday at Birmingham, England.
It was the third world championship of the Ormoc City, Leyte native after previously holding the IBF world titles in the flyweight and light flyweight divisions.
Tete dictated the tempo of the match early until Casimero found an opening to the latter’s defense before landing a short right hand to the temple that send the South African down.
Despite beating the count, Tete was sent down again by Casimero via solid punches before the Filipino went for the kill. He cornered his foe until the match was halted with 2:14 left in the third.
Casimero said after the match he was delighted to become a world champion again. He called out Naoya Inoue, the WBA and IBF world bantamweight champion.
“All my opponents are great fighters. But I am strong,” Casimero said. “Give me Inoue! Come on Monster! Come with me.”
With the victory, Casimero improved his boxing record to 29-4-0, with 20 stoppage victories, while Tete saw his slate dropped to 28-4-0, including 21 knockout wins./PN