WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete hopeful of facing WBA and IBF titlist Inoue
WBO bantamweight champion Zolani "Last Born" Tete is hopeful that he will get a chance to face newly crowned WBA and IBF titlist Naoya "The Monster" Inoue one day.
The 26 year-old Japanese smoked Puerto Rican "Manny" Emmanuel Rodriguez in two rounds‚ dethroning him as the IBF holder‚ in Glasgow‚ Scotland on Saturday.
Naoya‚ who boast 16 knockouts in 18 wins‚ will face WBA Super and WBC Diamond holder Nonito "Filipino Flash" Donaire in the final of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS).
The overall winner will go home with three belts and the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
The unification fight between Inoue and Rodriguez was the second semi-final of the bantamweight WBSS. Tete pulled out of the first semifinal last month due to a shoulder injury.
He was to meet Donaire on April 27.
Tete was replaced by American Stephon Young who suffered a sixth round stoppage to Donaire.
Donaire will meet Inoue in the final.
Tete says the winner of the event cannot be referred to as the undisputed bantamweight champion because he will not be holding all the four belts.
"At some stage‚ that boxer will have to face me and WBC champion ( Frenchman Nordine Oubaali) in order to hold all the belts and be rightfully declared the undisputed champion‚" he said.
The left hander from Mdantsane still maintains that he would have walked through 36-year-old Donaire and then met Inoue in the final.
"I watched Donaire against Stephon‚ and I don't want to sound arrogant‚ but I would have beaten him.
"I also watched Inoue and Rodriguez last weekend‚" Tete said. "Inoue is really proving to be a good fighter.
"You know he can box when he wants to and also fight if need be.
"He is a hell of a good boxer and it is not a mistake that he is one of the best bantamweight world champions out there.
"I honestly congratulate him for his win and I believe that he will go on to win the WBSS.
"But he will have to win the WBO and WBC titles to be the undisputed champion.
"That is why I am hopeful that he will give me the chance to face him."
Tete was presented with a special recognition award from Boxing SA during its awards on Friday evening.
The knockout artist - who boasts 26 KOs in 28 wins against three losses - had earlier on the night lifted the KO of the year award for his 11 seconds knockout of Siboniso Gonya in Belfast in 2017.
Meanwhile‚ Tholumusa "Mfundisi" Ngema won the WBF International junior featherweight belt after defeating Tshepang Babui of Botswana on points in Bostwana on Friday night.