Zolani Tete wins vacant interim WBO bantamweight belt following late sanction

Phil Jay 22/04/2017

Former IBF super-flyweight champion Zolani Tete claimed the vacant interim WBO bantamweight title on Saturday night with a unanimous decision win over Artur Villanueva.

Tete was on top for the majority of the bout as Villanueva struggled to deal with the South African’s classy movement. Villanueva was dropped in the eleventh round as Tete saw out a 120-107 and 119-108 (twice) triumph on the cards, moving closer to becoming a two-weight world title holder.

The WBO bantamweight belt is currently vacant after Marlon Tapales failed to make weight for his defence against Shohei Omori on Sunday. Should Omori win, the Japanese fighter will take the available strap, although a win for Tapales could see Tete boosted to full status by the end of the weekend.

WBO President Paco Valcarcel made the announcement just hours before Tete took the ring and put on a masterclass performance at Leicester Arena.

Earlier on the BoxNation bill and In the bustling UK super welterweight division, Ekow Essuman continued to build his name in the ranks with a third round victory over Casey Blair.

Former GB amateur captain Thomas Stalker is back in the win column following some sketchy form as the Liverpool man proved too skilful for Chris Adaway. Stalker won 60-55 on the cards after six sessions.

Raza Hamza dropped Rafael Castillo early as the super-bantamweight kept his unbeaten record intact on the cards, whilst super welterweight Sam Maxwell stopped Georgie Wright in five rounds to do likewise in his second pro outing.

Kicking off the night, Super Middleweight Chris Blaney defeated Christian Hoskin Gomez over six rounds 58-56. The Ricky Hatton protege is now undefeated in six bouts.

Full results from the undercard are available here