Last Born in one for fans
Tete promises supporters he will prove his boxing pedigree in WBO title elimination bout in the UK
Zolani “Last Born” Tete is leaving for Leicester, England, on Friday with a promise to his South African fans that he will make yet another mark in the UK. Last Born will slug it out with Filipino Arthur Villanueva for the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) bantamweight title elimination at Leicester Arena on April 22.
The fight was originally scheduled for Manchester Arena in Manchester next Saturday, but it has now been postponed and moved to another venue due to logistical problems.
The winner will have a crack at the WBO championship, which is currently held by Marlon Tapales, who is also from the Philippines. Villanueva, holder of the WBO Asia Pacific belt, is the number one contender for the WBO championship belt, while Tete is ranked second. The winner will challenge Tapales.
But Tete, who hails from Mdantsane in East London, is so upbeat about winning that he has already made an undertaking to his supporters that he will continue to make a mark in the UK by winning.
Since signing an agreement to fight under English promoter Frank Warren’s Queensbury Promotions two years ago to box exclusively in England, Tete has ingratiated himself with his supporters by winning impressively.
He stopped Mexican José Santos Gonzalez in the seventh round for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) international championship at Echo Arena in Liverpool in March last year.
Tete continued his impressive showing with another seventh-round stoppage over Victor Ruiz, who is also from Mexico, at the same venue in June.
Now, Last Born believes he owes it to his followers to continue his winning streak in the UK by knocking out Villanueva.
“I’ve gained great admiration in Britain for my showing there and owe it my fans to beat Villanueva. I can’t wait to win and fight for the WBO title,” said Tete.
Last Born will be accompanied on his mission by his manager Mlandeli Tengimfene, trainer Loyiso Mtya and his dad Zolile.
“I’ve been in camp in Johannesburg for six weeks preparing for this fight. I’m in great shape. The altitude in Manchester is the same as in Joburg and the fight will suit [me],” said Tete.
Tete comes in with a record of three defeats and 24 wins in 27 bouts. Villanueva is an experienced campaigner, who has only lost once in 31 bouts. He has had 16 victories by way of the short route.
CONTACT SPORT Zolani Tete (right) in action against Victor Ruiz while defending his IBF international bantamweight title at Echo Arena in Liverpool in the UK in June