Zolani Tete tips Naoya to beat Casimero

Zolani Tete taking on Omar Andres Narvaez in this file picture.
Zolani Tete taking on Omar Andres Narvaez in this file picture.
Image: Getty Images

Zolani Tete says he has not tipped Naoya Inoue to defeat Filipino John Riel Casimero in their unification bout in Las Vegas on April 25 because of bitterness that Casimero dethroned him as the WBO champion last year.

But instead, Tete says his opinion is based on the assessment of the two boxers' contrasting styles and their advantages.

He believes that the 26-year-old Japanese star who holds the WBA Super, IBF bantamweight and winner of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), is superior all-round.

Naoya won the multimillion rand series as well as the Muhammad Ali trophy after defeating highly-rated former multiple world champion in four weight classes, Nonito Donaire, in Tokyo on November 7 last year.

"Inoue is a come-forward fighter, and we discovered against Donaire that he can also box. The guy has power. It may not be an easy fight but I think he will emerge victorious," said Tete.

"Casimero's style is readable and can be countered. He tries to box but his style will not give him a chance against Inoue. Casimero is not a difficult boxer. I am not saying this in bitterness because he beat me. I am analysing their styles."

Tete lost the WBO belt to Casimero, 30, via a third-round stoppage. Naoya is undefeated after 19 fights with 16 knockouts, while Casimero has 29 wins with 20 knockouts against four losses. A press conference was held last week to announce the unification bout between Naoya and Casimero.

Casimero told BoxingScene.com: "I don't fear him. Anyone in my weight division, I'm open to fighting because I'm the strongest fighter in the division. Against Inoue, we're still in the process of forming our game plan."

Inoue said: "It's meaningful to have a three-belt match. My first fight in Las Vegas, I want to clear it safely and move on to the next. Casimero is a wild fighter with fierceness as a Filipino. He has a dangerous, hard punch."

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