It’s a good time to be a bantamweight fan.
While Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire prepare to unify the IBF and WBA “super” title and WBC champ Nordine Oubaali gears up to defend his belt against Takuma Inoue, the WBO has ordered champion Zolani Tete to face interim champion John Riel Casimero. The sanctioning body gave the two 90 days to fight after Casimero’s August 24th victory over Cesar Ramirez and Frank Warren claims that negotiations are underway.
Casimero (28-4, 19 KO), a former Flyweight champion who owns a knockout victory over Charlie Edwards, got an unprompted crack at the interim belt that wound up being needed when Tete (28-3, 21 KO) injured his shoulder ahead of his WBSS semifinal bout with Nonito Donaire. Casimero knocked out Ricardo Espinoza Franco for the belt, then did the same to Ramirez in his first defense.
The difference in dimensions is rather staggering; Casimero stands 5’4” with a 64” reach compared to the 5’9” Tete’s 72” reach. Still, the Filipino veteran can fight, and Tete’s rust and recovery process could give “Last Born” issues.