Saturday: Tete-Casimero Bantamweight World Title Coming Exclusively to ESPN+

South African southpaw Zolani Tete, the WBO bantamweight world champion, will make his first title defense in more than a year against former two-weight world champion John Riel Casimero on Saturday from Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, England.

This will be the fourth title defense for Tete, who withdrew from the World Boxing Super Series tournament earlier this year with a shoulder injury.

Tete-Casimero will headline a scheduled six-bout stream on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

Tete (28-3, 21 KOs) is unbeaten in 12 bouts dating back to 2012, a streak that includes a brief reign as the IBF junior bantamweight world champion. He moved up to bantamweight in 2016 and captured the interim WBO bantamweight title the following year with a unanimous decision over Arthur Villanueva. He was soon elevated to world champion and, in his first title defense in November 2017, he authored an 11-second knockout over Siboniso Gonya. The KO came on Tete’s first punch of the fight and broke a boxing record for the fastest KO in a world title bout. Tete has defended his belt twice since the Gonya bout, notching decisions over Omar Narvaez and Mikhail Aloyan.

Casimero (28-4, 19 KOs), from Ormoc City, Leyte, Philippines, is looking to become the fourth Filipino boxer to win world titles in three weight classes. He reigned as IBF junior flyweight world champion from 2012-2013, and he won the IBF flyweight world title in 2016 with a fourth-round knockout over Amnat Ruenroeng. He has won four consecutive bouts and picked up the interim WBO bantamweight title while Tete was recovering from his injury. He defended the interim belt in August in Manila, stopping Mexican veteran Cesar Ramirez in the 10th round.

In other action from Birmingham:

  • Lerrone Richards (12-0, 3 KOs) will fight Birmingham native Lennox Clarke (19-0-1, 7 KOs) in a 12-rounder for the vacant British super middleweight title and Clarke’s Commonwealth belt. Clarke has won four in a row since the lone draw on his record, while Richard is coming off a decision win over Tommy Langford for the Commonwealth crown.
  • In a battle of unbeatens, Sam Maxwell (12-0, 10 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBO European junior welterweight title in a 10-rounder versus southpaw Connor Parker (12-0, 1 KO).
  • Hamzah Sheeraz (9-0, 5 KOs), only 20 years old, will take step up in class when he faces fellow Birmingham native Ryan Kelly (14-2, 7 KOs) in a 10-rounder. Sheeraz is 3-0 with three knockouts in two rounds or less in 2019.
  • Sam “Bullet” Bowen (15-0, 11 KOs) will make the second defense of his British super featherweight title against Belfast native Anthony Cacace (17-1, 7 KOs) in a 12-round showdown. Bowen won the British title in March with a ninth-round stoppage over Jordan McCorry in a bout that was streamed live on ESPN+.
  • Dennis “The Menace” McCann (4-0, 3 KOs), a 19-year-old bantamweight prodigy from Maidstone, England, will face Elvis Guillan (9-59-4, 6 KOs) in a scheduled six-rounder.

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About ESPN+
ESPN+ is the leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service from Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ grew quickly to 3.5 million subscribers in 18 months, offering fans thousands of live events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, as well as premium editorial content.

Programming on ESPN+ includes exclusive UFC and Top Rank boxing events, thousands of college sports events (including football and basketball) from more than a dozen sports at 20 conferences, hundreds of MLB and NHL games, top domestic and international soccer (Serie A, MLS, FA Cup, Bundesliga – beginning in 2020, EFL Championship and Carabao Cup, Eredivisie), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby and cricket, exclusive ESPN+ Original series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films.

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About The World Boxing Wall (3232 Articles)

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