Mobile Home | Desktop Version
Who is Zolani Tete?
By Joaquin Henson
Thu, 08 Nov 2018
The man whom newly-crowned WBA bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire, Jr. is facing next is a 5-9 South African with a 72-inch wingspan and a long list of victims that includes five Filipinos. Zolani Tete, 30, is the reigning WBO titlist and will take on Donaire in the World Boxing Super Series semifinals sometime next year. The winner of that encounter will advance to battle the survivor of the other semifinal pairing between Japan’s Naoya Inoue and IBF ruler Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico for global recognition as the unified champion with the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy as a bonus.
Tete’s record is 28-3, with 21 KOs. Three of his victims who went the distance were Filipinos Arthur Villanueva, Jether Oliva and Richard Garcia. He holds the world record for posting the fastest knockout in championship history, disposing of countryman Siboniso Gonya in only 11 seconds with a right to the head to retain the WBO 118-pound crown last year. Two other first round knockout victims were Filipinos Eduard Penerio and Rexon Flores.
In Tete’s three losses, two were by close decisions, one split and the other majority. His only defeat inside the distance was a stoppage by Donaire victim Moruti Mthalane. He has been floored by Mthalane and Mexico’s Juan Carlos Sanchez. Tete, whose father is a pastor, is known to be a crafty fighter who resorts to devious tricks like holding and butting. He has been docked points in at least three outings.
When Donaire halted Ryan Burnett to wrest the WBA crown in Glasgow last Saturday, a Fil-Scottish fighter would’ve wanted to witness the event. John Thain, whose mother Rizalina Aying is from Mindanao, said he failed to watch the fight because of work. Thain’s late father John, a Scottish sailor in the merchant navy, met his mother while working in the Philippines. The couple moved to Scotland in 1986 and Thain was born a year later in Edinburgh. The six-foot Thain, 31, visited the Philippines as a baby and returned in 2006 to meet relatives in Cebu. Thain’s pro record is 17-4, with 1 KO. He’s a part-time taxi driver.
“I am so pleased that Nonito won the title but I felt bad for Burnett as it was a bad injury,” said Thain. “Nonito is proof that age is just a number. I planned to go to the fights but unfortunately, I couldn’t as I had to work. But I’m training hard.” Last July, he lost a 12-round decision to Nigeria’s Larry Ekundayo for the vacant IBF European welterweight crown in Bethnal Green, England.
Burnett surrendered at the start of the fifth round supposedly because of a back injury. It appeared that he twisted his hip after throwing a right straight that missed in the fourth canto. He was carried out of the ring on a stretcher. But in the hospital, Burnett was given only pain killers and discharged without confinement.
Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza, former ABAP chairman, said he suspects Burnett suffered a fractured rib cage from Donaire’s body shots. “It could also be an accumulation of punches to the body,” said Daza. “You don’t feel the pain until later so it’s possible Burnett had a delayed reaction to the punishment.”
What impressed Daza wasn’t so much Donaire’s body work but his class act of showing concern for Burnett after the fight was halted. “I’ve been involved in pro and amateur boxing for decades, way before martial law when I managed and promoted fights with Rod Nazario at the Besa Arena,” he said. “As the saying goes, them were the days. Marcelino Dizon was the Araneta matchmaker during that time and Araneta employed an American trainer Dee Dee Armour. In my years in boxing, I’d never seen a fighter displaying so much compassion. He took down the title belt from his shoulder to assist putting Burnett on a stretcher and kept consoling Burnett and his handlers. Donaire didn’t even celebrate his victory.”
Recent PhilBoxing articles:
Undefeated Fighters Erick DeLeon and Eric Puente in Action Tonight in Costa Mesa, California
By , Sat, 23 Mar 2019TMZ SPORTS EXCLUSIVE: Mike Tyson Says Conor McGregor Needs to Focus on Fights, Not UFC Ownership
By , Sat, 23 Mar 2019BRANDEN PIZARRO TO TAKE ON TRE'SEAN WIGGINS IN CO-MAIN EVENT ON FRIDAY, APRIL 26TH AT THE MET PHILADELPHIA
By , Sat, 23 Mar 2019Who’s afraid of Errol Spence Jr.?
By Recah Trinidad, Sat, 23 Mar 2019Weigh-In Results: Pulev-Dinu and Magdaleno-Ramos
By , Sat, 23 Mar 2019Berenguer, Fernandez, Amper power Senate past House of Representatives in 3rd Congressional Sports Chess Team Tourney
By Marlon Bernardino, Sat, 23 Mar 2019Blair Cobbs Defeats Ferdinand Kerobyan in his Hometown, Captures Jr. NABF Title
By , Sat, 23 Mar 20193-Time Olympian Anvar Yunusov Ready For Carlos Colon Next Friday Night at SugarHouse Casino
By , Sat, 23 Mar 2019'EL MOZO' RODRIGUEZ STOPS 'NO MERCY' GESTA IN MAIN EVENT OF INAUGURAL EDITION OF GOLDEN BOY DAZN THURSDAY NIGHT FIGHTS
By , Fri, 22 Mar 2019Kubrat Pulev and Bogdan Dinu Ready for Heavyweight Rumble
By , Fri, 22 Mar 2019Jarrett Hurd Defends His IBF & WBA Titles Against Top Contender Julian Williams
By , Fri, 22 Mar 2019Michael Hunter Calls Out All Heavyweight Champions and Contenders
By , Fri, 22 Mar 2019Bombs away in title eliminators
By Joaquin Henson, Fri, 22 Mar 2019Saturday: Sam Bowen-Jordan McCorry and Nathan Gorman-Kevin Johnson Headline ESPN+ Card
By , Fri, 22 Mar 2019SHUMENOV-GOULAMIRIAM TITLE FIGHT MAY OPEN NEW REGIME IN KAZAKHSTAN
By , Fri, 22 Mar 2019