Tete’s still knock­out favourite for clash

World cham­pion not fazed by Aloyan fight in his na­tive Rus­sia

Daily Dispatch - - Sport - MESULI ZIFO

Zolani Tete kicks off his World Box­ing Su­per Se­ries (WBSS) cam­paign when he takes on Mikhail Aloyan in Rus­sia on Satur­day night.

The fight will also put Tete's WBO ban­tam weight ti­tle on the line, so it can be de­scribed as a vol­un­tary de­fence.

While the fight will be held in Aloyan's back­yard, Tete will en­ter the ring as favourite due to his wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence which in­cludes three world ti­tles.

In fact, Tete is so confident of a win that he vowed to re­tire if he were to lose to Aloyan.

"If I lose to Aloyan I'm done with box­ing," he said.

“Los­ing would mean that all along I was not good enough."

Should Tete go on and win the se­ries he will cap a re­mark­able feat as at one stage he nearly quit box­ing af­ter a se­ries of mis­for­tunes, in­clud­ing suf­fer­ing a mi­nor heart at­tack un­der mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances.

But he braved it all and bounced back when few peo­ple ex­pected him to, by cap­tur­ing the IBF ti­tle with a dom­i­nant win over Ja­pan’s Teiru Ki­noshita in his own back­yard. In fact Tete has been some sort of a road war­rior as he has built up the habit of beat­ing op­po­nents in their own back­yard.

"I am no longer con­cerned to fight in my op­po­nent's back­yard," he said when asked if he would feel in­tim­i­dated to face Aloyan in Rus­sia.”

Tete knocked out Mex­i­can Juan Car­los Sanchez in Mex­ico in a IBF ti­tle elim­i­na­tor be­fore head­ing to Ja­pan to beat Ki­noshita for the full ti­tle.

He again dusted off his pass­port and headed to Eng­land where he knocked out Paul But­ler to re­tain the ti­tle.

Tete is the former IBF ju­nior ban­tamweight king and also once held the WBF fly­weight belt.

He is rated as the best ban­tamweight in the world by the re­spected Ring Mag­a­zine.

The mag­a­zine also picks him to win the se­ries de­spite the over­whelm­ing back­ing of Ja­panese Naoya Inoue who marked his own par­tic­i­pa­tion with a 70 sec­onds blowout of Juan Car­los Payano last week­end.

On the other hand, Aloyan is a green novice of just four fights win­ning half of them by split de­ci­sions – all in Nicaragua.

De­spite the gulf in ex­pe­ri­ence and achieve­ments, Tete is not tak­ing the Rus­sian who like him is also 30 years old, lightly.

"I have been train­ing for six weeks pre­par­ing for this fight, " he said.

"In­deed Aloyan is a novice com­pared to me but ev­ery boxer is dan­ger­ous when he en­ters the ring. Re­mem­ber there is a lot at stake so he will also come pre­pared. Aloyan has noth­ing to lose but ev­ery­thing to gain and that makes him dan­ger­ous."

An­other statis­tic the box­ers share be­sides age, is the fact that they are both left-han­ders.

But Tete will tower over the Rus­sian and that is an­other ad­van­tage he has go­ing into the fight.

Tete has lost just three fights in 30 bouts, although only one of them can be con­sid­ered le­git­i­mate.

He has iced 21 foes mak­ing him one of the hard­est punch­ers in the lighter di­vi­sions.

Aloyan has never won a fight by a stop­page and that again tilts the scales in Tete’s favour, as Aloyan’s best chance is to win on points.

Again Tete is one such boxer who can­not be out boxed.

This means Tete has ev­ery­thing go­ing for him in this clash and it will de­pend on which style he em­ploys; the cau­tious ap­proach or the ag­gres­sive, which saw him score the quick­est knock­out in a world cham­pi­onship bout when he blitzed Si­bon­iso Gonya in 11 sec­onds.

Un­der these cir­cum­stances one can bet to Tete pro­gress­ing to the the semi­fi­nals of the se­ries.

I am no longer con­cerned to fight in my op­po­nent's back­yard. Aloyan has noth­ing to lose but ev­ery­thing to gain

Pic­ture: MARK AN­DREWS

BLOW BY BLOW: Zolani Tete un­leashes a se­ries of blows to Mex­ico's Ol­guin Ramirez Di­uhl at the Ori­ent Theatre. Tete fights Mikhail Aloyan in a World Box­ing Su­per Se­ries clash in Rus­sia on Satur­day

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