Tete will have des­o­late Box­ing Day

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

Zolani “Last Born” Tete will not en­joy the Christ­mas hol­i­days with his fam­ily be­cause he will be pre­par­ing for his cru­cial World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WBO) ban­tamweight ti­tle elim­i­na­tion fight.

Last Born (28) told City Press this week that he would be work­ing out at the Ur­ban War­riors box­ing gym in Sand­ton, Joburg.

He is sched­uled to fight Filipino Arthur Vil­lanueva in the UK on Jan­uary 28. A win against him will pave the way for Tete to chal­lenge Mar­lon Ta­pales, who is also from the Philip­pines, for the WBO cham­pi­onship.

The Mdantsane-based for­mer In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF) king­pin is ex­pected to be in Joburg this week with his trainer Loy­iso Mtya to start shap­ing up for the bout. He will spend the next eight weeks train­ing there.

He will be ac­com­pa­nied at the work­out in later weeks by his fa­ther Zo­lile; Mhik­iza Meyekeni, the for­mer In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion ju­nior fly­weight king­pin; and Phumzile Maty­ila, the for­mer World Box­ing Coun­cil in­ter­na­tional ban­tamweight cham­pion.

“I will have a bleak Christ­mas,” he said.

“I usu­ally take my fam­ily to the beach in East Lon­don every year to en­joy the fes­tive hol­i­days, but this won’t hap­pen this time around as I will be at the gym through­out the fes­tive sea­son.”

But Last Born em­pha­sised that the fight against Vil­lanueva, who holds the WBO Asia Pa­cific belt, meant a lot to him.

“The match will pave the way for me to fight Ta­pales,” he said.

“Vil­lanueva is a tough cus­tomer and I have to beat him to get an op­por­tu­nity to chal­lenge his coun­try­man Ta­pales for the crown. Maybe in Fe­bru­ary.”

Last Born, whose pro­moter is Frank War­ren of Queens­berry Pro­mo­tions, put on a ster­ling show by beat­ing Mex­i­can Vic­tor Ruiz on a sev­enth-round tech­ni­cal knock­out at Echo Arena in Liver­pool in June.

Pre­vi­ously, he held the IBF ban­tamweight di­vi­sion ti­tle.

I usu­ally take my fam­ily to the beach in East Lon­don every year ZOLANI TETE

PHOTO: LEON SADIKI

MDANTSANE MATA­DOR Zolani Tete in ac­tion against Ol­guin Ramirez Di­uhl dur­ing their in­ter­na­tional ju­nior ban­tamweight clash last year at the Ori­ent Theatre in East Lon­don, where he stopped the Mex­i­can boxer in the eighth round

DOT­ING FA­THER The boxer Zolani ‘Last Born’ Tete and his ex­tended fam­ily en­joy­ing them­selves on the beach in East Lon­don last year

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