Last Born ready to pack a promoter’s punch
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.
ONLY WAY IS UP Zolani Tete has
set his sights on becoming a boxing promoter