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Zolani Tete: “Inoue must beat me before he can call himself the real king”

- Latest Naoya Inoue Zolani Tete

ZOLANI TETE HAS thrown down the gauntlet to bantamweight rival Naoya Inoue, who is hot favourite to overcome Nonito Donaire in the final of the World Boxing Super Series this week.

Boxing fans across the world were hoping for a dream Tete-Inoue match-up in the final of the WBSS when the Queensberry Promotions-backed South African joined the strong field of 118-pounders in the eight-man tournament that also included then world champions Ryan Burnett and Emmanuel Rodriguez.

Tete, the WBO king, unfortunately had to withdraw from the competition ahead of the semi-final stage – where he was set to meet Donaire – after defeating Mikhail Aloyan in his quarter-final.

Veteran ring legend Donaire went on to beat the replacement Stephon Young – via a 6th round KO – in the semi-final and booked himself a meeting with the hot ticket of the division in Inoue, who made short work of his passage to the final by beating Juan Carlos Payano in 70 seconds and then Rodriguez courtesy of a 2nd round KO.

If Tete has his way, the fans won’t be denied the tantalising prospect of a showdown between himself and the 18-0 knockout-artist Inoue.

“Inoue knows he needs to see me if he wants to be bantamweight king,” he warned, ahead of his own return to the ring against mandatory challenger John Riel Casimero at Arena, Birmingham on November 30.

It is unfortunate I had to pull out of the tournament but I am now fit and healthy again.

“I have a tough fight against Casimero on November 30 but, God willing I come through, I definitely want to fight Inoue, added the man from Eastern Cape, who tips Inoue to prevail in his collision with the popular Filipino.

“I believe he will beat Donaire but he knows he must beat me before he can call himself the real king.”


SUNNY EDWARDS SUSPECTS that Zolani Tete will be up against it when he defends his WBO world bantamweight title against John Riel Casimero at Arena, Birmingham on November 30.

The Filipino Casimero is mandatory challenger for the world title held by the explosive South African Tete and Edwards has seen close up the threat posed by the 30-year-old from the stable of ring legend Manny Pacquiao.

Edwards was in the camp of his brother Charlie when he unsuccessfully challenged for the IBF world flyweight title held by Casimero at the o2 Arena back in September 2016 and saw at close quarters the potent punching power possessed by the 28-4 man with 19 KO victims.

Not deterred by personal experience, Edwards has booked his seat for the return of Casimero to the UK in a fight that has got quality written all over it.

“Yeah, 100 per cent I am going down to watch that! ” said Edwards. “I have been wanting this fight for years.

“I genuinely believe – although people might think I am saying it because he beat my brother – that Casimero is very, very dangerous. Disgustingly dangerous, how powerful and explosive he is.

“Obviously he has had a good run of form recently as well so it is a real pick ’em.

“Tete has stalled a bit through injury recently and that has been a bit frustrating, but on his game he is right up there with the best. So is Casimero though and he is not a two-weight world champion for nothing.”

WBO world bantamweight champion Zolani Tete defends his title against mandatory challenger John Riel Casimero features on a stacked night of title action at Arena, Birmingham on November 30. British and Commonwealth welterweight champion Chris Jenkins makes a defence against Liam Taylor, Lerrone Richards also takes on Lennox Clarke for the Commonwealth and vacant British super middleweight belt, while East Midlands favourite Sam Bowen makes a second defence of his British super featherweight title against mandatory challenger Anthony Cacace. Sam Maxwell defends his WBO European super lightweight title against the also unbeaten Connor Parker from Derbyshire.

Hamzah Sheeraz will fight for his first major title at super welterweight, with thrilling prospects Dennis McCann, Shabaz Masoud, Eithan James and George Davey also featuring on the bill, along with talents from the local region in Nathan Heaney and River Wilson-Bent.

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