By Terence Dooley
WBO World bantamweight titlist Zolani "Last Born" Tete (117.5lbs) kicked off the televised boxing at Belfast's SSE Arena with a first-round KO win over fellow South African Siboniso Gonya (116lbs) that saw him take his opponent out with his first and only shot of the fight.
The 29-year-old moved to 26-3 (21 KOs) after scoring a knockdown with a sweet right hook within six seconds of the first bell, with the official time clocking in at a short and sweet 0:11 of round one to make it one of the quickest KOs ever seen at world title level.
Referee Phil Edwards started to count, but waved it off once it became clear that the challenger would not be able to recover from the wicked punch that ended the bout. Gonya was completely gone from the shot and was given oxygen minutes after the knockout. The challenger made it to his feet, but falls to 11-2 (5), and his first world title shot was over within the blink of an eye.
Tete wants to meet IBF World and WBA Super world in a unification fight. Prior to this one he had expressed his happiness over fighting in Belfast, and will want to return for a big fight with local boy Burnett. "I've been preparing so hard for this fight," he said when speaking to Ronald McIntosh of BoxNation.
"My trainers are the ones doing the job behind the scenes, I would like to thank them. I would love to fight Ryan Burnett. I believe he stays here, this is his hometown, so we should see who is king of the bantamweights."
"I was surprised it was 11 seconds, he (Tete) said it was five or six," added Frank Warren. "He is one of those special fighters who come along once in a blue moon. We are in Belfast because we want Ryan Burnett. If his manager Adam Booth wants to contact me we will make the fight here in Belfast. He (Tete) is Number One in my opinion, we want to do it here in Belfast in March.
"If Ryan believes he is the best then we have to find a way to do it. I already offered to fight on their show, Tete would have gone to Sky and I've had paid their purse, but we didn't hear back from them. Let's give the fans what they want, the best fighting the best."