Tete postpones his title defence

Zolani 'Last Born' Tete celebrates the defence of his WBO bantamweight belt after his KO of Siboniso Gonya in Belfast, Ireland in November. / Charles McQuillan / Getty Images
Zolani 'Last Born' Tete celebrates the defence of his WBO bantamweight belt after his KO of Siboniso Gonya in Belfast, Ireland in November. / Charles McQuillan / Getty Images

Zolani "Last Born" Tete says he is hugely disappointed to have to postpone the second defence of his WBO bantamweight belt against Mexican Omar Narvaez scheduled for London's Copper Box Arena on February 10.

"I picked up a calf injury that has severely hindered my training, and the only option was to postpone the fight," said Tete yesterday. "My heart is so sore. I ran too much in the sand at the beach. That is where the whole thing happened."

He said it was not the first time he had suffered a similar setback.

"Always when I run in the sand, I pick up this injury. I train very hard and there is always a risk of picking up injuries. It will be unwise of me to go into the fight against Narvaez when I am unfit.

"I know for sure that I will retain my title against Narvaez and then unify with Ryan Burnett [IBF and WBA Super champion]. It is a fight that the boxing world wants to see and I am hopeful that it will happen in 2018."

Tete's manager Mlandeli Tengimfene said he was hoping the injury will heal in time. "I took him to the doctor who advised Zolani to rest until the end of the month, which means that he cannot train at all," said Tengimfene.

"I then forwarded all medical reports to his British promoter Frank Warren. Zolani will be ready [for the fight] in April."

Tengimfene added that his All Winners Boxing Club has welcomed back trainer Loyiso Mtya, who joins trainers Mhikiza Myekeni and Phumzile Matyhila.

Mtya had parted ways with them in June last year due to some misunderstanding.

Tengimfene said he wanted to beef-up Tete's technical team but it appears he did not communicate his plan with Mtya, until the latter learnt about it in the media.

Said Tengimfene: "The issue still stands, if it comes to a push, I will still rope in someone more superior technically to assist Zolani in training. But, yes, Loyiso is back with us. We've sorted all matters and we started working together on Tuesday."

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