IN THE FINAL FOUR
Two more WBSS semi- nalists are con rmed, writes Jack Figg
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.
CLINCH FEST: But Tete breaks free to score with his left