By Mesuli Zifo
YET another impressive display by Japanese boxing phenomenon Naoya Inoue and yet another mention of Zolani Tete as his likely foe.
The 22 year-old Japanese returned to the ring after almost a year in limbo due to injury to stop Filipino Warlito Parrenas in two rounds to retain his WBO junior bantamweight crown on New Year 's Eve.
Now unbeaten in 9 bouts with all but one bout won by stoppages, Inoue is ruffling feathers in the lighter weight classes living up to his “Monster”moniker.
The fact that he is fighting in the division where Tete held the IBF world title before tossing it to the dustbin due to unfavourable conditions of his mandatory defence against Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo has not stopped pundits to dream of clash between the two.
The 27-year-old Tete has three losses in 25 bouts with 18 stoppages.
He has recently signed a multi -fight contract with top British promoter Frank Warren and will be paraded in a Qúeensberry Promotions tournament in Echo Arena in Liverpool on February 13.
His manager Mla Tengimfene said no opponent has been found as yet but he and Warren will decide on a foe “in a couple of days.”
The fight will give Tete a chance to share the bill with his victim Paul Butler whom he knocked out in eight rounds in March in a fight that is receiving nomination as the knockout of the year by several international boxing publications.
Tete’s progress in England will be closely monitored by many no less Inoue’s management which reportedly made him an offer for a fight this past December.
Tengimfene admitted that when Tete travelled to Japan to claim the IBF belt against Teiru Kinoshita in 2014, he was made an offer to face Inoue in a title unification.
“Yes they approached us about the fight but nothing came off it,” Tengimfene said, adding that Tete would jump on the next flight to Japan to fight Inoue anytime.
“I think they decided on an easier opponent to test Inoue because of long injury but if he wants us now that he seemed to have found his momentum we are more than ready.”
Tete has done most of his fighting abroad winning the title eliminator in Mexico before venturing to Asia to inflict the first professional loss to Kinoshita.
“We have never had a problem fighting in our opponent’s backyard so going to Japan would not be a problem as we have done so before.”