Johannesburg - Zolani “Last Born” Tete usually prefers to go through his training sessions in secrecy and away from the prying eyes of the media.
He has adopted the policy to keep to himself during his workouts so that he does not get distracted by anything or anyone ahead of his fights.
But this time around, Last Born has decided to fling open the doors to the public and members of the fourth estate to see for themselves how he gets into such great shape ahead of a big fight.
The scene of the rare viewing was the Urban Warrior Boxing Gym, a workout structure in Parkmore, Sandton, that the Eastern Cape boxer has chosen to fine-tune himself for his crucial World Boxing Organisation (WBO) title elimination bout against Filipino Arthur “El Matador” Villanueva.
Their fight takes place at the Leicester Arena in the UK on Saturday.
Inside the well-equipped building, Last Born proudly displays how fit he is for his important clash.
His vigilant trainer Loyiso Mtya and assistant Phumzile Matyila are setting Tete different kinds of gruelling exercises inside the ring to demonstrate to the expectant onlookers that he is fit and ready to go toe-to-toe with Villanueva. And Last Born resolutely does them with ease.
With his six-pack showing impressively while he goes through the motions, an animated Tete stops momentarily to declare that he is ready to take Villanueva to the cleaners.
“As you guys can see for yourselves, I’ve trained extremely hard for this fight since I came to Johannesburg in January to prepare for it,” says Tete as he wipes the sweat from his face.
“There won’t be any excuses for me to lose. Villanueva and I will be out to give the English fans a great fight. I will emerge the winner by a knockout.”
Crashing to the canvas
What is crucial about the fight is the fact that the winner will have a crack at the WBO championship currently held by Villanueva’s compatriot, Marlon Tapales. Villanueva, holder of the WBO Asia Pacific belt, is the number one contender for this championship belt, while Tete is ranked second.
A look at the tale of the tape shows that both are heavy punchers. Last Born, the erstwhile International Boxing Federation super flyweight champion, has defeated 20 of his 24 victims by way of a knockout. El Matador has sent 16 of his 30 opponents crashing to the canvas.
All in all, the fight has the ingredients of a thriller.