By Mesuli Zifo

South African boxer Zolani Tete, who is quickly becoming a household name in England boxing circles, is set to take a giant step towards becoming a two division world champion when he takes on WBA interim bantamweight champion Zhanat Zhakiyanov in England in a date yet to be confirmed in June.

The 28-year- old southpaw is fresh from a seven rounds stoppage win over Mexican Jose Santos Gonzalez in Liverpool just a few weeks ago in his debut under Queensberry Promotions.

As usual Tete left tongues wagging and further endeared himself to the English boxing fans with yet another virtuoso performance in a sequel of his eight rounds knockout of previously undefeated Paul Butler in March last year.

After his win over Gonzalez from which he picked up the IBF international crown, Tete expressed his desire to challenge British champions Lee Haskins who holds the IBF title and WBA regular champion Jamie McDonnell.

But both champions are committed to defences with Haskins set to face Ivan Morales in Wales next month while McDonnell has a date with Tete conqueror Juan Alberto Rosas in London this Saturday.

This has left WBO champion Pungluang Sor Singyu who also has a mandatory due.

Having abdicated the IBF junior bantamweight throne due to what he claimed were unfavourable conditions of his mandatory against current champion McJoe Arroyo, Tete (23-3, 19 KOs) is eager to become a champion again and sees the Kazaskhstani as platform towards a McDonnell showdown.

“At this stage of our career we will take anyone who will bring us closer to a world crown,” said the boxer’s manager Mla Tengimfene.

While he insists that he prefers the junior bantamweight division, Tete says he will take any chance that comes his way in the bantamweight.

He has height to compliment his punching power which he proved against Gonzalez that he has not lost it as the Mexican had never been stopped before their clash.

Zhakiyanov was last seen in action last November in Monte Carlo, Monaco when escaped with a split decision over Yonfrez Parejo to take the interim in a show promoted by Tete’s compatriot Rodney Berman.

Interestingly Berman had also expressed an interest to promote his SA southpaw compatriot before Frank Warren beat him to the boxer’s signature.

With only a single defeat in 28 bouts with 18 stoppages, Zhayikinov is not providing sleepless nights to Tete.

“Funny enough I recorded his bout when he fought in Monte Carlo even though I had no idea I would fight him,” he said.

“So when they told him that I would fight him I simply went back to the tape and re-watched it.”