Arthur Villanueva lost to South African Zolani Tete on Saturday night via unanimous decision in their World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight world title eliminator bout at the Leicester Arena in London.
Tete, who improved his record to 25-3 win-loss record with 20 knockouts, earned similar 119-108 scores from the two judges and 120-107 from the third judge to capture the WBO interim bantamweight title.
The bout between the two fighters eventually became a mandatory interim title fight from title eliminator after former WBO bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales was stripped of his title Saturday afternoon in Osaka, Japan after failing to reach the required 118 lbs weight limit.
“Tete is absolutely stronger and the better fighter in this fight,” Villanueva’s trainer Edito Villamor told The Manila Times.
The boxer from Bago, Negros Occidental was knocked down in the 11th round as Tete used his strong counter-punching to take the win.
Villanueva dropped to 30-2 win-loss record with 16 knockouts.