South Africa’s Zolani Tete won the WBO interim bantamweight belt with a masterful exhibition of boxing when he outclassed Filipino Arthur Villaneuva over 12 rounds at the Leicester Arena in England on Saturday night.
The scores were 120-109 and 119-108 twice.
Using his height and reach advantage, the southpaw Tete (53,06 kg) kept Villaneuva (53,06 kg) on the outside from the opening bell. The Filipino sustained a cut over his right eye after a clash of heads midway through the first round, which was well controlled by his corner and never a factor in the fight.
Through rounds two to four the South African continued to control the centre of the ring and the action with his southpaw left jab, which kept Villanueva off balance as he was never able to get into the fight.
In round five the Filipino landed a right hand well below the belt and received a warning from referee Steve Gray, but Tete was able to recover after a short break.
In the sixth round Tete scored a flash knockdown when he dropped Villaneuva with a straight right to the jaw; and through rounds seven to 12 he continued to dominate the fight, using all his boxing skills to run out an easy winner.
The 29-year-old Tete improved his record to 25-3; 19 and Villaneuva, 28, saw his record drop to 30-2; 16.