Last Born eyes Hask­ins’ crown

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­

Fresh from an in­spir­ing win, Zolani “Last Born” Tete says he is itch­ing to give his Bri­tish fans an­other vic­tory by de­thron­ing Lee “Play­boy” Hask­ins.

Hask­ins, who hails from the UK, holds the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF) ban­tamweight ti­tle.

Tete, the IBF in­ter­na­tional cham­pion, posted his third win in the UK by knock­ing out Mex­i­can Vic­tor “Pelon” Ruiz in the fourth round in a ti­tle de­fence at Echo Arena, Liver­pool, two weeks ago.

His great show­ing in Eng­land, he said, pleased his sup­port­ers, who were keen to see him take on their fel­low Bri­ton, Hask­ins.

“The fans are cry­ing out for me to chal­lenge Hask­ins, fol­low­ing my great wins at the venue. They be­lieve this could be one of the best fights,” said Tete, adding that he would not rest un­til the Play­boy gave the nod to a match for the cham­pi­onship belt.

“I held the IBF su­per fly­weight ti­tle pre­vi­ously and it will be great to add the ban­tamweight ver­sion of the crown from the same sanc­tion­ing body.”

Last Born (28), who has taken Liver­pool by storm, said he was keep­ing his fin­gers crossed that Hask­ins would agree to the bout, which, if given the go-ahead, would prob­a­bly be sched­uled for Septem­ber.

The East Lon­don­born south­paw said Ruiz was a tough con­tender.

“Ruiz gave me a great match in the open­ing rounds with sting­ing hooks, but he ex­posed him­self to shots that sent him to the can­vas.

“I am hop­ing Hask­ins does not get cold feet about fight­ing me, es­pe­cially if he watched me in ac­tion that day [against Ruiz]. I hope my pro­moter, Frank War­ren, can get him to agree to the match.”

Hask­ins, who is 32 years old and also a south­paw, is re­garded as one of Britain’s finest IBF cham­pi­ons.

He beat Mex­i­can Iván Mo­rales by a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion to be crowned cham­pion at Ice Arena in Cardiff, Wales, last month.

Be­fore the Ruiz bout, Last Born had de­feated Mex­i­can Jose San­tos Gon­za­lez at Echo Arena to win the ti­tle in March.

His other fight at the same venue was a points vic­tory over English­man Paul But­ler for the IBF su­per fly­weight crown last March.

Tete, whose ca­reer is man­aged by Mlandeli Tengim­fene, has a pro­fes­sional record of 24 wins and three de­feats in 27 pro­fes­sional fights.

Andy Ayling, head of events at Queens­bury Pro­mo­tions, said Last Born would hope­fully get a chance to have a shot at Hask­ins’ ti­tle soon.

“At the mo­ment, dis­cus­sions are on­go­ing to chal­lenge Hask­ins, but the cham­pion has to de­fend against fel­low English­man Stu­art Hall next, be­fore he meets Zolani,” said Ayling, adding that they were hop­ing Tete would soon be the num­ber one con­tender for the IBF crown.

“One way or an­other, we will en­sure that Zolani is a world cham­pion again very soon,” he pointed out.

“We be­lieve he is the best ban­tamweight in the world.”

The fans are cry­ing out for me to chal­lenge Hask­ins, fol­low­ing my great wins at the venue. They be­lieve this can be one of the best fights ZOLANI ‘LAST BORN’ TETE

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