South Africa

Last Born can’t wait to battle Hurricane

2018-04-15 06:00

Johannesburg - Highly regarded World Boxing Organisation (WBO) world bantamweight champion Zolani “Last Born” Tete’s camp has vowed to send Argentinian Omar “The Hurricane” Narváez the same route other opponents have taken to collect their defeats. The two meet at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Saturday.

All Winners Boxing Gym chief trainer Loyiso Mtya said his razor-sharp charge was in sensational shape and ready to deliver on a promise of retaining his crown.

“If we’re not ready by now, we will never be. We are cruising and fine-tuning the level we are at now. Omar will go the same route other opponents have gone when they come to collect their defeat.”

Even Tete’s manager Mlandeli Thengimfene is singing from the same hymn book as Mtya, saying the champion will be at his usual best.

“We are ready to eliminate Narváez. We we are going to Belfast to retain our crown,” he says.

The top local boxing manager says unifying the division remains the priority, “but, as long as there is no champion willing to step up, we will continue fighting elite boxers with or without a title”.

“At this stage, we want Tete to make money while still at the peak of his career,” says Thengimfene.

The talented southpaw proved to be ruling his division with an iron fist – 21 of his 26 victims didn’t hear the last gong.

Tete broke a long-standing record of the shortest knockout time in a championship fight after he floored compatriot Siboniso “Tiger” Gonya in 11 seconds to successfully defend his crown at the same venue in November.

It was the fastest knockout in a world championship bout, breaking the record held by former WBO super-bantamweight champion Daniel Jiménez, who had stopped Harald Geier in 17 seconds in 1994.

Tete floored his opponent with a devastating right hook just five seconds into the bout and the referee officially stopped the contest six seconds later when it became clear that Gonya was out cold.

But this contest might not be a walk in the park for the South African champion as the tough Narváez has been stopped only once in his eight-year boxing career.

The 42-year-old former WBO title holder was dropped by a much younger Naoya Inoue to surrender his WBO world super flyweight after defending it seven times.

Tete visited the late struggle hero Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home to lay a wreath before he left for Northern Ireland on Friday.


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