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Zolani Tete hoping for Ryan Burnett WBSS win

Zolani Tete [28(21)-3(1)] will become a temporary member of the Ryan Burnett fan club on November 3rd.

The South African defended his WBO bantamweight world title by outpointing Russian Mikhail Aloyan in a battle of the southpaws over the weekend in Ekaterinburg.

The victory moved the Frank Warren fighter into the semi-finals of the WBSS tournament where he awaits the winner of Ryan Burnett and Nonito Donaire’s quarter-final which takes place in Glasgow early next month.

Considering Donaire is 34 and has a bigger worldwide profile than rising star Burnett, some might see him as an ideal semi final foe but not Tete.

‘Last Born’ remains determined to fight former unified champ Burnett and will be hoping that the Antrim Road boxer overcomes the Filipino legend.

Tete has been a Burnett call-out regular and twice fought in the Belfast fighter’s home town in a bid to try create a public thirst for the fight.

Tete is now just 12 rounds away from securing the clash he has been vocal about over the past year and is hoping Burnett [19(9)-0] can set it up by beating ‘The Filipino Flash’ in Scotland.

“I wish Ryan Burnett will win, and I think he will. I always wanted to meet him,” the 30-year-old said before reflecting on his somewhat underwhelming quarter-final win.

The Russian amateur star pushed Tete throughout but the styles did not mesh in what was something of a turgid watch.

“It was a good fight. My jab and footwork were decisive,” said the African.

“Aloyan proved he is one of the best by going 12 rounds with me. He is a clever fighter who will become a world champion one day.”

While a Burnett win would not guarantee a Belfast semi-final, many will be hopeful that the distinct WBSS format will come to the Titanic City early in the year.

Donaire and the quarters was seen as the perfect fight for the city considering the Asian’s recent history in fighting Carl Frampton back in April but, considering Tete’s prescence in Belfast, a semi-final at the SSE Odyssey Arena also looks to make sense.

Tournament favourite Naoya Inoue has already qualified for the semi-finals following his statement first-round knockout of Juan Carlos Payano at the start of the month and he will face the winner of this Saturday night’s clash between IBF champ Manny Rodriguez and Aussie mandatory Jason Moloney.


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