Last Born ditches home fans for Jozi

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

Zolani “Last Born” Tete will spend six weeks at a se­cret Johannesburg train­ing camp – away from the pry­ing eyes of the girls from his home town of Mdantsane – to pre­pare for his next fight.

The for­mer In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF) su­per­fly­weight cham­pion is sched­uled to meet Ar­gen­tinian Diego Pichardo in a 10-round fight at the Ori­ent Theatre, East Lon­don, on Septem­ber 6.

Tete (27), who will be co-pro­mot­ing the fight with Andile Si­dinile’s Si­juta Pro­mo­tions, said he would like to fo­cus on train­ing in the days lead­ing up to the bout.

“I usu­ally get dis­tracted by noisy fans, most of whom are girls, in my home town of Mdantsane, who come to the gym in large num­bers when­ever I pre­pare for fights. Hope­fully, things will be bet­ter in Joburg.

“I de­cided to set up a se­cret camp in Joburg where I will hope­fully be able to con­cen­trate be­fore the fight.

“I’m not try­ing to snub my fans, but they of­ten dis­tract me,” he said.

Tete added that he needed a neu­tral en­vi­ron­ment to train in for what would be his last fight be­fore he of­fi­cially ven­tured into pro­mot­ing.

Tete de­cided to take up this new role af­ter his con­tract with pro­moter Branco Milenkovic of­fi­cially ended two weeks ago. The two had been to­gether for six years.

They parted ways when the boxer de­cided not to de­fend his IBF cham­pi­onship belt af­ter his sched­uled manda­tory de­fence against num­ber one con­tender, Puerto Ri­can McJoe Ar­royo, went to purse bids.

The fight was billed to take place in Puerto Rico on July 11.

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

Pichardo is a southpaw with a fight record of 16 wins, six defeats and one draw in 23 paid fights.

“I hear he packs a mean punch, but I will be too good for him,” said a con­fi­dent Tete.

PHOTO: LEFTY SHIVAMBU / GALLO IM­AGES

BIG MOVE Zolani Tete will spend six weeks train­ing in Joburg to pre­pare for his fight against Ar­gen­tinian Diego Pichardo

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