Tete taking Gonya seriously

Zolani Tete working hard in the gym ahead of his WBO bantamweight belt defence against Siboniso Gonya. / Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
Zolani Tete working hard in the gym ahead of his WBO bantamweight belt defence against Siboniso Gonya. / Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Zolani "Last Born" Tete says he cannot afford to be complacent in the first defence of his WBO bantamweight belt against mandatory challenger Siboniso "Tiger" Gonya in Belfast, Ireland on Saturday.

Gonya, the No 3 contender from Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal remains an enigma, with nothing world class in his credentials except winning the WBO Intercontinental title from Namibian star Immanuel Naidjala in April.

That victory in Namibia helped Gonya vault onto the third spot for Tete's title. That was Gonya's 11th win, against a loss which was a stoppage to Thabo Sishwane of Duncan Village in 2013. Gonya has five knockout wins.

"I know a little about Gonya but I will give him four rounds. As Floyd Mayweather Jr always says, 'we are on the A side', so that must show in the ring because the world will be watching me," said Tete.

"Remember my wish is to unify with IBF and WBA champion Ryan Burnett, so I have to send a strong message to Burnett."

Burnett is from Northern Ireland and will be at ringside when Tete takes on Gonya.

On paper, the fight is a mismatch as Tete has 20 knockouts in 25 wins against three losses.

Sadly though, if he knocks out Gonya early in their clash, little credit will be come his way because the world of boxing does not regard Gonya as a credible opponent.

The bout will also see Filipino Jerwin Ancajas defending the IBF junior-bantamweight title, which formerly belonged to Tete, against another Irish star Jamie Conlan.

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