Last Born firm on new trainer

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

World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WBO) ban­tamweight cham­pion Zolani “Last Born” Tete wants to en­list the ser­vices of a world-class trainer ahead of his vol­un­tary ti­tle de­fence in Septem­ber.

But this has not gone down well with trainer Loy­iso Mtya, who was quoted by the Daily Dis­patch as say­ing he was in the dark about plans to hire a new men­tor to work along­side him.

Sev­eral at­tempts to con­tact Mtya for com­ment drew a blank as his cell­phone went unan­swered and he didn’t re­turn voice mes­sages.

But Tete said the plan to hire a new trainer was not aimed at get­ting rid of Mtya.

“We are look­ing for some­one who will add to what Bra Loys is do­ing. He will call the shots as my trainer,” ex­plained Tete.

His man­ager, Mlan­deli Tengim­fene, said: “Loy­iso is very much part of our team. Zolani is now in a top league as world champ and he de­serves a world-class trainer who will help guide him, just as hap­pened with [Vuyani] Bungu and [Wel­come] Ncita in their prime.”

Tete wants to be in the same mould as his East Lon­don home­boys Bungu and Ncita, whose cor­ners were manned by Amer­i­can men­tors Terry Stotts and Luther Burgess, re­spec­tively, when the box­ers were still hold­ing In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF) ju­nior feather­weight crowns in dif­fer­ent eras of their ca­reers.

The Amer­i­can train­ers were rec­om­mended by man­ager and trainer Mz­i­masi Mn­guni, and worked along­side him at Eyethu Box­ing Club in Mdantsane.

Tete was crowned WBO ban­tamweight cham­pion in April af­ter his ini­tial points win over Filipino Arthur Vil­lanueva for a ti­tle elim­i­na­tor at Le­ices­ter Arena in Eng­land was later el­e­vated to a full global ti­tle achieve­ment.

The erst­while IBF king­pin feels that adding an ex­pe­ri­enced tech­ni­cal trainer to work along­side Mtya will boost his box­ing ca­reer im­mensely in his quest to be­come the coun­try’s best boxer.

“I’ve been promised a de­fence against a tough cus­tomer in Septem­ber and am look­ing for some­one with in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence to work with Bra Loy­iso as my trainer,” said Tete.

“Vuyani and Wel­come were the best world cham­pi­ons in their time as they were helped by for­eign men­tors, and I would like to be like them.

“Adding an over­seas tech­ni­cal team mem­ber speed­ily to help me in my up­com­ing de­fence will be great.”

Ar­guably the finest cham­pion in the coun­try, Last Born won the then va­cant IBF crown af­ter beat­ing Ja­panese Teiru Ki­noshita by a unan­i­mous points de­ci­sion in Kobe in 2014. He de­fended suc­cess­fully against English­man Paul But­ler via an eighth-round tech­ni­cal knock­out at Echo Arena, Liver­pool, in March 2015. He later lost the IBF ti­tle through a purse bid in Au­gust the same year.

Now Tete is headed for the big time as the WBO king­pin.

PHOTO: LEON SADIKI

DES­TINED Zolani Tete wants a tech­ni­cal trainer hired be­fore his next fight

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