Last Born gets ready to rumble
Zolani “Last Born” Tete will have his first fight under the banner of British promoter Frank Warren’s Queensbury Promotions when he takes on Mexican Jose Santos Gonzalez at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, in England on March 12.
Their bout will be for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) international bantamweight championship.
It comes after the former IBF super flyweight holder, Tete, and Warren agreed two months ago to a partnership that would enable the Mdantsane-based fighter to have some of his fights staged in the UK under Warren’s banner. But Tete, who is a promoter himself, will co-stage some of his bouts at home. His opponent comes into the ring with a record of 22 wins and three defeats in 25 professional fights. Coincidentally, Tete has exactly the same fight record.
Gonzalez (25), nicknamed El Torito, fights out of Guadalajara in Mexico. He last fought in South Africa when he lost to Mzuvukile Magwaca for the vacant World Boxing Association international bantamweight crown at the Orient Theatre, East London, in August.
Tete is taking his forthcoming encounter with the Mexican so seriously that he moved from his Mdantsane stable on February 3 to set up a training camp in Johannesburg ahead of the encounter. He came to Jozi with his chief trainer, Loyiso Mtya, and assistant, Phumzile “Sweet Chocolate” Matyhila, (an ex-national bantamweight titleholder. They have been using the Sweat 1000 gym at Bryanston Shopping Complex, north of Johannesburg.
“We take this fight very seriously because it means a lot to us, hence we moved from the distraction of local fans in East London to work out in Joburg, where no one knows us,” said Tete.
Last Born said he watched his opponent in action while the Mexican fought in Mzansi last year.
“He carries a mean punch, as his record of 12 knockout wins attests. But I will be too good for him.”
Tete’s manager, Mlandeli Tengimfene, said victory for his charge would enhance Last Born’s chance of having another IBF title shot. He won the vacant crown by beating Teiru Kinoshita in the latter’s home country, Japan, in 2014. He was stripped of the crown last year and lost it when the title went to purse bids.