By Alexey Sukachev
This past Friday night at the Rossiya Theatre in Moscow, the quarter-finals were set for Season II of the World Boxing Super Series - with tournaments taking place in the super lightweight and bantamweight divisions.
All sixteen participants in attendance
The bantamweight bracket will feature IBF world champion Emmanuel Rodriguez facing Australia’s unbeaten Jason Maloney. Ryan Burnett, who holds the WBA 'super' title, will be facing former four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire. Naoya Inoue, the WBA ‘regular’ champion, is going up against Juan Carlo Payano, and WBO world champion Zolani Tete takes on Mikhail Aloyan.
BoxingScene.com spoke with Tete (27-3, 21 KOs) about making the decision to participate in the WBSS and selected a former champion in Aloyan (4-0, 0KOs) as his first opponent.
BoxingScene: You finished off Siboniso Gonya in just a 11 seconds in your title affair. What is the secret of getting that type of knockout?
Tete: To place a punch properly. To find the right moment and distance to place it, which is more important than just the power of [the punch].
BoxingScene: Who was your toughest opponent?
Tete: I suppose my toughest fight was a road bout with Argentinean Roberto Domingo Sosa, which I had lost on a very close split decision. My mother was ill at the time, and I couldn’t be at my full potential, as my thoughts were far from my opponent and the upcoming fight. That was a tough challenge.
BoxingScene: You have lost a couple of split decisions in your past. Were you misjudged in those fights?
Tete: No, I wouldn’t put it that way. I wasn’t fully concentrated on those fights for an assortment of reasons. That was true both for the Sosa fight, and for my fight with the strong Mexican Juan Alberto “Topo” Rosas. I have mostly myself to blame.
BoxingScene: Had you been given a chance to determine your first opponent, who would you have chosen?
A: I think that I would have chosen Juan Carlos Payano for his intriguing and brave style