JOHNRIEL Casimero hopes to formalize his status as a regular world champion when he challenges reigning king Zolanie Tete for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight crown Sunday morning (Manila time) at the Arena Birmingham in England.
Casimero is the interim WBO title holder, but a win over the defending champion from South Africa will cement his place as a four-time world title holder.
Owner of a 28-4 record with 19 KOs, the Filipino didn’t have a hard time making weight on Friday after tipping the scales at 117.2.
The 31-year-old champion from South Africa on the other hand, came in at 116.2 in his fifth defense of his 118-lb belt.
Tete, 28-3, with 21 KOs, was supposed to defend his crown against Filipino Nonito Donaire Jr during the bantamweight semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), but withdrew at the last minute after suffering a shoulder injury.
Casimero, 30, stopped game Mexican Cesar Ramirez in his last fight in September, scoring an eighth-round stoppage at the San Andres Civic and Sports Center.