Mthalane now part of the Tete fan club

"I am not saying he is the best because of the knockout against Siboniso [Gonya in Ireland on Saturday]," said Mthalane, who stopped Tete in five rounds at Carnival City in Brakpan in 2010.
Image: NIGEL LOUW

Knockout artist Zolani "Last Born" Tete is one of the best boxers to come out of South Africa in recent years, says fearsome warrior Moruti "Baby Face" Mthalane.

The IBF International flyweight champion remains the only local fighter to beat Tete.

"I am not saying he is the best because of the knockout against Siboniso [Gonya in Ireland on Saturday]," said Mthalane, who stopped Tete in five rounds at Carnival City in Brakpan in 2010.

"What we saw on Saturday was always coming. All the fights he has fought in the United Kingdom [against Paul Butler, Jose Santos Gonzales, Victor Ruiz and Arthur Villanueva] were not easy.

"Zolani is getting better with each fight. He is a very good boxer and has made the country proud ever since he started fighting in the UK in 2015. I knew that Zolani would win against Siboniso but I thought it would go at least four or five rounds."

Tete had also predicted a fourth- round stoppage in the first defence of his WBO bantamweight title he won in April. But his first blow, a well-executed right hook to the jaw, dropped Gonya in six seconds.

The official stoppage time was 11 seconds - a world record and Tete's 21st knockout in 26 wins, against three losses.

Meanwhile, Mthalane said he was hopeful that promoter Tshele Kometsi succeeds in negotiating with the IBF championship committee to get him the elimination bout next year.

He is rated No 9 for the IBF flyweight title.

Mthalane has fought three times this year and won all those fights by stoppages. He boasts 24 knockouts in 35 wins, against two losses.

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