Tete’s gloves are off for IBF defence

2015-03-01 15:00

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Zolani Tete says he is confident he will successfully defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight title against Englishman Paul Butler in Liverpool in the UK on Friday.

This will be the first time the East London boxer will put his title on the line. He beat Japanese fighter Teiru Kinoshita through a unanimous points decision in Kobe, Japan, in July last year to lift the then vacant crown. What makes his win more interesting was that Tete – the country’s only IBF title holder – defied all odds to win in front of a partisan crowd. He was forced to fight on foreign soil because of the television blackout that is being imposed on live boxing by the SABC.

Now Tete, who celebrates his 27th birthday two days after his fight, is oozing confidence as he prepares to notch up another victory on the road.

“I am fit and ready to show the world I did not win the title by mistake. I’ve trained hard for this bout and I’m determined to win,” said Tete this week before leaving for Liverpool.

The pugilist added that, although Butler, who hails from Chester in England, was a worthy opponent, he (Tete) would win by a knockout. Butler is unbeaten in 17 paid fights, while Tete goes into the fight boasting a record of 18 wins and three defeats in 21 professional bouts.

“I don’t know much about Butler except that he is the type of fighter who comes forward all the time. A win will come in handy for my birthday celebration,” said Tete.

And boxing fans throughout the country will also?be?hoping Tete?will award himself the perfect birthday present in Liverpool by winning the fight.

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