Zolani Tete [25(20)-3(1)] doesn’t look like he is a fan of Belfast. The WBO bantamweight champion of the World wore a big woolly hat and gloves while sitting at the top table of the final ‘Frampton Reborn’ press conference on Thursday.
However, the South African who defends his title against compatriot Siboniso Gonya at the SSE Odyssey Arena in the first all-South African World title fight to take place outside their native country, is keen to return so he can be crowned unified bantamweight of the World.
The fighter, who defeated former Jamie Conlan target Paul Butler to claim the title, is confident of a knockout win in front of the Belfast crowd tonight and once that is achieved he wants a unification clash with the cities two belt champion Ryan Burnett [18(9)-0].
The Frank Warren promoted bantam took the chance to call Burnett out while he was in the Matchroom fighters back yard telling the IBF and WBA title holder that it’s time we found out who ‘was the real king’.
“Ryan is a two-time World Champion now. He is the IBF and WBA bantamweight champion and let’s give credit to the man he has done well for himself,” Tete said.
“I think we need to unify the division.” Let’s see who is the king, who is the real king. I know he is one of the best fighters out there, but let’s do what the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Carl Frampton has done before. Why not? Let’s do it.”
The talented Burnett, who won and unified world titles in back-to-back Belfast hosted fights, has options and while he has proved he is willing to challenge anyone with his clashes this year, his promoter Eddie Hearn may not be overly keen on giving a Frank Warren-promoted fighter a shot.
However, especially in light of his appearance tonight, Tete’s profile in Belfast is rising and he has arguably become the biggest fight in the division for the Antrim Road 25 year old.