Last Born gets ready to rum­ble

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

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.

ZOLANI TETE

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