Last Born ready to pack a pro­moter’s punch

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

For­mer In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF) su­per­fly­weight cham­pion Zolani Tete will soon take on another chal­lenge in the ring – as a box­ing pro­moter.

He hopes to be the co-pro­moter of his fight against an Ar­gen­tinian op­po­nent, who is yet to be an­nounced, at the Ori­ent Theatre in East Lon­don on Septem­ber 6.

Tete plans to jointly stage the tour­na­ment with Andile Si­dinile’s Si­juta Pro­mo­tions.

The 27-year-old Mdantsane fighter, who goes by the nick­name, Last Born, told City Press he had de­cided to ven­ture into pro­mot­ing fights af­ter his con­tract with pro­moter Branco Milenkovic of­fi­cially ended last week.

They had been to­gether for six years.

Tete and Milenkovic parted ways af­ter the boxer de­cided not to de­fend his IBF ti­tle fol­low­ing his sched­uled manda­tory ti­tle de­fence against num­ber one chal­lenger Puerto Ri­can McJoe Ar­royo, went to purse bids. The fight was billed to take place in Puerto Rico on July 11.

How­ever, Tete re­fused to fight for what he termed a “pal­try” R70 000 purse, which he said would not cover his op­er­at­ing ex­penses.

This led to Tete be­ing stripped of his crown.

“I have de­cided to be­come a pro­moter be­cause my box­ing ca­reer is about to come to an end soon. I don’t have a pro­moter’s li­cence at the mo­ment, so I am co-pro­mot­ing my next bout. I hope to get the nec­es­sary pa­per­work done soon so I can han­dle fu­ture events when I re­tire as a boxer,” he said.

Tete, who turned pro­fes­sional in 2006, has an ad­mirable ca­reer record of 20 vic­to­ries and three defeats in 23 paid fights.

Last Born said he would love to fol­low in the steps of his idol, Floyd May­weather, the world wel­ter­weight king­pin who is also a suc­cess­ful pro­moter in the US.

“It’s a pity that the Box­ing Act [in South Africa] does not al­low for one to be a boxer and a pro­moter at the same time. I be­lieve I’ll make the grade as a pro­moter once I get a li­cence,” said Tete.

Tete’s man­ager Mlan­deli Tengim­fene said: “I told Zolani that the only av­enue avail­able to him now is to open a box­ing pro­mo­tion com­pany.

“All he needs is to get his pro­moter’s li­cence af­ter he’s fin­ished with fight­ing,” he said.

Tengim­fene com­mended Milenkovic for his pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to Tete’s box­ing ca­reer.

Many South African and over­seas box­ers have suc­cess­fully made the tran­si­tion from boxer to pro­moter.

They in­clude Vuyani “The Beast” Bungu and Welcome “The Hawk” Ncita, who both held the IBF ju­nior feath­er­weight crowns.

For­mer World Box­ing Coun­cil light mid­dleweight holder Os­car “The Golden Boy” De La Hoya has also be­come a suc­cess­ful pro­moter.

PHOTO: LEON SADIKI

ONLY WAY IS UP Zolani Tete has

set his sights on be­com­ing a box­ing pro­moter

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