Tete car­ries hopes of African con­ti­nent

Daily Dispatch - - Front Page - Lon­wabo Wit­booi

Per­haps be­fore one is un­nec­es­sar­ily paral­ysed by fear it is im­por­tant to first un­der­stand if those fears are jus­ti­fied.

In many cases, the things peo­ple fear the most sur­pris­ingly turn out to be a myth.

These only ex­ist in the minds and imag­i­na­tions of the faint of heart.

The past week saw the en­tire South African box­ing com­mu­nity be­ing swept away by an im­mense wave of fear cour­tesy of Ja­panese Naoya Inoue’s 70-sec­onds de­struc­tion of Juan Car­los Payano in the quar­ter­fi­nals of the World Box­ing Su­per Se­ries (WBSS).

Now ev­ery­time at the mere men­tion of Inoue, the at­ten­tion shifts to his coun­ter­part in the WBSS, Zolani Tete.

Look­ing at the de­bates sur­round­ing their pos­si­ble fight, it is ob­vi­ous that the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of fans do not give Tete a chance against the “Mon­ster".

But be­fore pre­dic­tions can be made, both box­ers’ styles need to be as­sessed in de­tail, so as to gauge whether these fears are jus­ti­fied.

In the Payano fight, it was ob­vi­ous that Inoue knew how to fight and beat a south­paw. The mo­ment the bell rang, he moved to­wards Payano's right-hand jab.

And, when Payano tried to force the ac­tion, Inoue missed him with a sneaky right up­per­cut. As Payano lunged, Inoue landed the quick straight right that ended the fight. This only hap­pened when Payano al­lowed him to get close.

And when he landed the straight right, Inoue was ex­actly where he was sup­posed to be against a south­paw.

With Payano be­ing close up, the right hand of Inoue, which is a sig­na­ture punch to beat a south­paw, eas­ily landed.

Other than that, through­out the en­tire 70 sec­onds, Inoue was clever not to com­mit, but lured Payano to­wards him in­stead, so he could get closer to the ac­tion and throw some bombs of his own.

Payano’s con­cen­tra­tion lapsed and he paid dearly. The fight was brief but it left a trail of clues for anal­y­sis.

If ever there would be a time where Tete needed to use a de­fence-minded ap­proach, it would be in this fight.

This would be one fight where Zolani would have to be as “bor­ing” as he pos­si­bly could and top that with a great amount of pa­tience. One of Tete’s great­est at­tributes is his alert­ness and pres­ence of mind.

He is very alert and knows very well how to pick his punches.

Should he man­age to keep Inoue at bay, the shorter Inoue would have no choice but to bring the fight to Tete and that is where Tete could catch him as he lunges in. Think Paul But­ler.

Know­ing Tete, and his wa­ter­tight de­fence he would never be caught in a sit­u­a­tion where he would have to be in­volved in an ex­change with Inoue, be­cause he is very much aware of the “Mon­ster’s” deadly power and would surely not want to test his chin against Inoue and that sneaky right up­per­cut Inoue threw as Payano was com­ing in.

In a fight with Inoue, Tete should never try to be the ag­gres­sor, oth­er­wise that would spell dis­as­ter for him.

As quick as Inoue could be against a clever, taller and ac­cu­rate Tete he would have no choice but to come for­ward and fight. The win­ning trick for Tete would be to know ex­actly what to do when Inoue tries to close the gap.

That is how the fight could be won. For­tu­nately, Tete has fought all over the world in front of dif­fer­ent types of crowds so there would be no fear of stage-fright.

He would not be in­tim­i­dated in any way.

Hav­ing had the op­por­tu­nity to watch Inoue's pre­vi­ous fights as well a many oth­ers who are well aware of Tete’s truest ca­pa­bil­i­ties, the “Mon­ster” is a myth, that only ex­ists in the imag­i­na­tions of those who fear it.

Zolani can surely tame the beast that

Inoue is pur­ported to be.

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