Frank Warren Tabs Zolani Tete To Clean House at Bantamweight

by Frank Warren

Zolani Tete would probably be a good man to take shopping with you.

Last weekend in Leicester, he fought for one belt and then ended up getting another one for free.

The brilliant South African was set to compete in a final eliminator for the WBO world bantamweight title at the Leicester Arena against Arthur Villanueva, but this was then upgraded to an interim title fight by the governing body after the champion Marlon Tapales was stripped of the title after failing to make weight ahead of his defence against Shohei Omori in Japan.


Zolani duly won the interim belt, outscoring Villanueva by a wide margin, but his secondary status proved to be short lived.

The WBO on Wednesday declared him world champion.

It is only what he deserves though because Zolani was a world champion all along in all but name, having previously relinquished an IBF world title due to promotional conflict.

I am delighted that we now have another world champion in our stable of richly talented fighters, along with Terry Flanagan and Billy Joe Saunders.

I genuinely believe that it won’t be too long before the likes of Liam Walsh, Paul Butler, Hughie Fury and either of Liam Smith or Williams are added to the roll of honour.

Zolani, however, will want to confirm his restored status in the ring and I suspect it will be the other champions he will be after.

Zhanat Zhakiyanov is in possession of the WBA belt after the Ricky Hatton trained Kazak unseated the fancied Rau’shee Warren in February, while Shinsuke Yamanaka – the WBC champion – is a formidable prospect and ranked in the pound-for-pound lists.

There is also Lee Haskins, the IBF champion, who is down to fight Ryan Burnett in his next defence.

I firmly believe Zolani has got the beating of them all and I wouldn’t be surprised if the name of Guillermo Rigondeaux doesn’t figure in our conversations once the Cuban has accounted for his mandatory in June.

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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Chrismart on 05-02-2017

[QUOTE=NEETzsche;17636311]Zhakiyanov is also based in England so that could be marketed as Liverpool vs Manchester[/QUOTE] Ah yes, good point mate :ANYWORD: Tete's further title options at 118 look to be in good shape.

Comment by NEETzsche on 05-02-2017

[QUOTE=Chrismart;17636299]With Tete being set-up in England now, a unification fight against the Burnett/Haskins winner makes sense. Yamanka or Zhakiyanov would be real good. That Rigo fight keeps getting brought up also. With Tete being a Boxnation guy, and Rigo having…

Comment by Chrismart on 05-02-2017

With Tete being set-up in England now, a unification fight against the Burnett/Haskins winner makes sense. Yamanka or Zhakiyanov would be real good. That Rigo fight keeps getting brought up also. With Tete being a Boxnation guy, and Rigo having…

Comment by NEETzsche on 05-02-2017

I think Inoue will be challenging for that belt soon so it's a big ask Then there's Nery, Rodriguez and Burnett on the verge of breaking through too. Bantamweight is about to come alive for the first time in quite…

Comment by Poppo168 on 05-02-2017

With a name like that it sounds like someone who cleans houses..

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