It's fair to say that the Bantamweight division has given us a bit of everything in recent times, with some great bouts, some frustration, and some amazing rivalries. It has however been one division where bouts seem to fall through at an alarming rate. One such bout was a proposed November bout between Athur Villanueva (30-1, 16) and Zolani Tete (24-3, 20), who were set to fight in a WBO Bantamweight world title eliminator last year. Sadly the bout just vanished with out a trace with neither man getting into the ring on the proposed November date.
Now, according to sources in the Philippines, the bout has been re-arranged and will now take place on April 8th in the UK.
The talented Villanueva is best known, internationally, for his close, controversial and messy loss to McJoe Arroyo in July 2015, in what was a bout for the IBF Super Bantamweigth title that had some of the worst judging in recent years. Since then Villanueva has moved up in weight and gone 3-0 (2) with a pair of KO's against Juan Jimenez, and a controversial split decision win over Victor Mendez.
Tete is a former IBF Super Flyweight champion who won that title in 2014, when he travelled to Japan and beat Teiru Kinoshita for the vacant title, and defended it once, stopping Paul Butler in the UK. Since then his career has failed to really shine, with 4 wins over solid opponents. Although he hasn't been stringing together world class wins recently he is promoted by the powerful Frank Warren and it's clear that Warren is looking to make Tete one of the stars of his stable.
The winner of the bout will become the #1 contender for the WBO title currently held by Marlon Tapales (29-2, 12), who has been a divisional dark horse in recent years with recent wins against the likes of Hayato Kimura, Shohei Omori and Pungluang Sor Singyu.
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