IBF: Tete, Kinoshita Must Reach Title Deal By April 20
By Mesuli Zifo
The IBF has finally taken a clear direction regarding its vacant title in the junior bantamweight title after it mandated South Africa's Zolani Tete and Japanese Teiru Kinoshita to contest for it.
The crown was relinquished by Kinoshita's compatriot Daiki Kameda last week after numerous reports of him struggling to make the weight limit.
As BoxingScene had reported that Kameda would inform the IBF of his decision to abdicate the crown last weekend, the federation then took a decision to select two fighters in first rated Tete and third placed Kinoshita.
This week the federation sent both camps letters ordering them to begin negotiations and conclude them by April 20.
Should the camps fail to reach an agreement purse bids will be called.
Tete's promoter Branco Milenkovic has already indicated his intentions of staging the fight in South Africa.
And with SA national broadcaster returning to boxing after a three-year absence things are looking good for Milenkovic to get his wish.
While Kinoshita is the older of the two as at 28 years old he is Tete's senior by three years, he has fought a bout less than the South African.
But it is Tete who boasts more experience at the world stage in his 21 bouts having contested IBF sanctioned fights five times.
Kinoshita's claim to fame remains being the champion of his country and has never even contested for a regional title.
On the other hand Tete challenged for world titles twice winning the lightly regarded WBF flyweight title before getting stopped in five rounds by compatriot Moruti Mthalane in an IBF flyweight title challenge.
Tete has also traveled to both Mexico twice and Argentine where he lost debatable decisions to Alberto Rosas and Roberto Sosa in IBF title elimination bouts.
In his last bout last NovemberTete stunned favoured Mexican Juan Carlos Sanchez via a 10th round stoppage to earn the right to challenge for the IBF title.
Tete's manager Mla Tengimfene says his charge is not worried by the threat posed by the unbeaten Kinoshita having watched his tapes on numerous occasions.
"While we would like to fight at home for a change but we are not overly worried about this guy because we have watched him several times,” he says.
Kinoshita is a left hander like Tete but does not possess the power of the South African as he has scored just three stoppages in 19 wins with a draw.
Only two of Tete's 18 victims were able to hear the final bell with three losses.