WBO bantamweight Zolani “Last Born” Tete wants to put Mzansi boxing on the world map once more and will challenge IBF and WBA champion Ryan Burnett for a unification fight.
Tete, who will defend his WBO title against countryman Siboniso “Tiger” Gonya at the SSE Arena in Belfast on 18 November, yesterday said he would “call out” Northern Irishman Burnett after he beats Gonya.
Tete yesterday had a sparring session in front of the media at the Urban Warrior Boxing Gym in Parkmore as he gears up for the big day.
Said the confident boxer: “I aim to give Gonya four rounds before taking him out. After the fight, which is in Burnett’s backyard, I will challenge him to a unification fight.
“I know Burnett will be at ringside and he won’t be able to duck me.”
The 29-year-old Tete, one of the brightest prospects in world boxing, is annoyed that his world title defence against a fellow South African is to be staged in Belfast due to the lack of funds in SA.
Said Tete: “It’s historic. We have two South Africans fighting for a world title outside the country. But it’s also sad. This fight should have been staged in South Africa.”
His manager Mla Tengimfene said he was “very disappointed” that they could not get funding for the fight in Mzansi.
“There was a tender out but there were no takers,” Tengimfene said.
“It’s sad, but what can we do? The boxer wanted to fight and wants the money, and we were fortunate when UK promoter (Frank Warren) offered to stage the fight in Belfast and we agreed.”
Tete has an impressive record of 28-25-3 with 20 knockouts compared to Gonya’s 11-1.
Tete also made history by becoming the first boxer to be nominated for the SA Sports Awards.
He will however not be able to attend the awards ceremony in Emperors Palace on Sunday night as he will be flying to Belfast the night before.