Last Born eyes Haskins’ crown
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