Tuesday, March 21, 2023  |



Zolani Tete easily outpoints Arthur Villanueva


Talented southpaw Zolani Tete scored a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Arthur Villanueva at the Leicester Arena in England on Saturday. The official scores were 120-107 and 119-108 twice.

Tete, who is rated No. 8 by THE RING at 118 pounds, decked Villanueva with a short left hand in the 11th before cruising to a near-flawless victory. As the bell rang to end the contest, the South African native looked more than capable of going another 12 rounds if he had to.

There was a clash of heads in Round 1, from which Villanueva sustained a small cut over his right eye. As it turned out, that was the least of his problems

Tete (25-3, 20 knockouts) ominously found the target for his back hand early. A superb left shook Villanueva badly in Round 3 and the Filipino slugger looked reticent to let his hands go after that. Tete was simply too quick to counter and picked him off at will with a dominant right jab and power shots to head and body.

It became so easy that Tete began to go through the motions. It would have been nice to see him inject a bit of pace into the action but the cerebral southpaw was winning the fight in second gear and kept things safety first. Villanueva (30-2, 16 KOs) was simply out of his depth and rarely landed flush.

This bout was contested for the interim WBO bantamweight title. That organization’s full title was stripped from Marlon Tapales earlier today, when he failed to make weight for his first defense against Shohei Omori. That matchup goes ahead in Osaka, Japan, tomorrow but only Omori can win the belt.

Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel.  Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

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