IN THE FI­NAL FOUR

Two more WBSS semi- nal­ists are con rmed, writes Jack Figg

Boxing News - - Action -

ZOLANI TETE booked his place in the semi-fi­nals of the World Box­ing Su­per Se­ries ban­tamweight tour­na­ment after out­point­ing Rus­sia’s Mikhail Aloyan. The South African suc­cess­fully de­fended his WBO ti­tle in tak­ing a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion at the Eka­ter­in­burg Expo on a show co-pro­moted by Sauer­land Event, RCC Box­ing & Pa­triot Box­ing.

Aloyan came into the con­test at­tempt­ing to win a world cham­pi­onship in just his fifth pro­fes­sional fight, hav­ing pre­vi­ously gar­nered Euro­pean and World (x2) ti­tles as an am­a­teur, while also claim­ing a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games.

In a fight that was scrappy through­out, with fre­quent hold­ing from the south­paw pair, Tete got off to a quick start, es­tab­lish­ing a stiff jab to both head and body to con­trol the dis­tance. Aloyan strug­gled to make his mark, of­ten be­ing on the re­ceiv­ing end of Tete’s jab. The Novosi­birsk man re­ceived an eight-count after be­ing clipped with a lead check hook from Tete that caused his glove to touch the can­vas.

Mov­ing into the sec­ond round, Aloyan was able to get into range and stiffen Tete with a jab, while also land­ing a loop­ing hook. The two-weight world cham­pion re­gained his com­po­sure with his well-timed jab on the back foot, but Aloyan broke through in the fourth when con­nect­ing with a long cross, caus­ing an off-bal­ance Tete to stum­ble back­wards slightly.

Dur­ing the mid­dle ses­sions, it was again the jab of Tete that proved the dif­fer­ence. The Mdantsane res­i­dent also threat­ened with stab­bing left hands and the oc­ca­sional short left up­per­cut. Aloyan found suc­cess with the lead right hook as he charged to­wards Tete, but the chal­lenger’s in­abil­ity to fol­low up his at­tacks with any­thing other than a sin­gle blow caused him to fall be­hind on the score­cards.

As the bout reached the fi­nal third, Aloyan of­ten ini­ti­ated the clinch­ing, yet it was Tete who was warned for hold­ing and push­ing his ri­val’s head down. In the 10th, Tete was de­ducted a point for this. In round 11, a pro­longed tus­sling and hold­ing match spilled over – this time Aloyan had a point taken off.

The fi­nal frame played out much like the first, with Tete scor­ing with sting­ing jabs and oc­ca­sion­ally throw­ing his rear hand, as Aloyan looked to close the dis­tance with noth­ing more than a lead right hook. Ul­ti­mately, Tete tri­umphed by two tal­lies of 114-111 (Zoltan Enyedi and Mike Fitzgerald) and one of 114-110 (Manuel Oliver Palomo). Kenny Che­va­lier ref­er­eed. Tete will now go on to meet the win­ner of Ryan Bur­nett ver­sus Nonito Don­aire.

It has been con­firmed that Floyd May­weather Snr will train Tete for his next bout. May­weather was also in Rus­sia, work­ing the cor­ner of An­drew Tabiti, who unan­i­mously out­pointed Rus­lan Fayfer in a WBSS cruis­er­weight quar­ter-fi­nal.

If the Tete-ay­olan fight was marred by hold­ing and clinch­ing at times, this con­test was plagued. From the off, Tabiti em­ployed a shoul­der-roll de­fence and pumped out his jab from a crouched stance. The Amer­i­can seemed hes­i­tant to com­mit to at­tack­ing, with his wellschooled jab the only thing win­ning him the rounds. Rus­sian Fayfer threat­ened when com­ing for­ward, but he couldn’t land a defin­ing shot.

In round four, Tabiti scored with a sweep­ing right hand to the chin of Fayer, be­fore hit­ting the tar­get with a three-punch com­bi­na­tion. Both box­ers’ nat­u­ral in­stinct was largely to reach out and hold, which made for un­pleas­ant view­ing. Tabiti, how­ever, landed a sweet counter right up­per­cut in the eighth.

Tabiti’s jab was dom­i­nant in the re­main­ing rounds, with Dzhugba’s Fayfer be­ing de­ducted a point for push­ing in the last ses­sion. This meant that the scores fin­ished up as 116-111 (Deon Dwarte), 115-112 (Mat­teo Mon­tella) and 114-113 (Benoit Rous­sel) – all in favour of Las Vegas’ un­de­feated Tabiti. Robert Ramirez Jnr of­fi­ci­ated.

THE VER­DICT Aloyan and Fayfer lose their un­beaten records and find them­selves elim­i­nated from the WBSS.

Pho­tos: WORLD BOX­ING SU­PER SE­RIES

CLINCH FEST: But Tete breaks free to score with his left

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