“He didn’t want to know” – Tete hoping to force Burnett unification with big win on Frampton card


WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete [25(20)-3(1)] is planning to impress Belfast fight fans next month and try force a fight with local favourite Ryan Burnett [17(9)-0].

Tete defends his belt in an all-South Africa clash with Siboniso Gonya on the ‘Frampton Reborn’ bill at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday November 18th.

One month prior, on Saturday October 21st at the same venue, Burnett looks to unify his IBF belt with the WBA strap of Zhanat Zhakiyanov.

During the Summer Tete’s promoter Frank Warren had floated the idea of Burnett facing the African in a unification – even offering to pay the Antrim Road fighter’s purse.

However, with negotiations with Zhakiyanov ongoing, Burnett’s team at Matchroom elected not to go down this route.

It’s no coincidence that Tete will be defending his bet for the first time in Belfast, and ‘Last Born’ is keen to show Irish fight fans his talents and why, he believes, Team Burnett avoided him.

Tete outlined how “I’ll be looking to make a statement in Ryan Burnett’s hometown as I know this is a fight my team tried to make for me but he didn’t want to know. I have the beating of all of the bantamweight World champions.”

The 29 year old southpaw was elevated to WBO champion in the aftermath of his interim title win over Arthur Villanueva in Leicester back in April.

The former IBF super flyweight champ, who has expressed his willingness to face Guillermo Rigondeaux in the past, is hungry for a big fight – and he believes a showdown with Burnett would fit the bill.

“I believe myself and Burnett would provide fans with a brilliant fight, I know the people Belfast love their boxing and hopefully this is a fight that can be made when we both come through our next fights.”

“For now all of my focus is on Siboniso Gonya on November 18th.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie