Johnriel Casimero dethroned South African champion Zolani Tete via third round technical knockout to seize the World Boxing Organization bantamweight title on Sunday (Philippine time) at the Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, England.
Casimero floored Tete with two hooks to the head in round three. Tete attempted to get up but faltered. He beat the count anew but the Filipino unleashed more vicious combos prompting the referee to stop the fight at 2:14.
Casimero’s first win on British soil happened in September 2016, when he scored a tenth round TKO win over Charlie Edwards at the O2 Arena in London.
“Very, very thankful to the Lord. Natupad na yung pinapangarap ko na manalo (Finally, my dream of becoming a world champion again came true),” the Ormoc City native told The Manila Times via overseas call.
Casimero said Tete was an easy conquest.
“Easy lang, easy work puro salita lang pala ‘yang si (Zolani) Tete. Hindi nga tayo pinawisan eh walang katigas tigas parang tune up fight lang (Easy work. Tete is all talk. He is not that tough. It was more like a tune-up fight),” he added.
Casimero was a former International Boxing Federation light flyweight and flyweight champion.
After losing by way of unanimous decision to fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan in September 2017, Casimero posted five straight wins to earn a world title shot.
Casimero is now in the company of Filipino world boxing champions Manny Pacquiao (World Boxing Association super welterweight), Jerwin Ancajas (IBF super flyweight) and Pedro Taduran (IBF minimumweight).
Casimero was trained by coach Nonoy Neri and supported by MP Promotion President Sean Gibbons.