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Zolani Tete plans to give Ryan Burnett World Title Opportunity

A ‘shocked’ Zolani Tete [28(21)-3(1)] says he will give Ryan Burnett the chance to regain his world title and the crown of bantamweight king.

The South African watched with a vested interest as Burnett and Nonito Donaire fought in Glasgow on Saturday night. The WBO champion had already secured his place in the World Boxing Super Series semi-final and was awaiting to see who he would face in the final four next year.

Tete had admitted he was hoping for a Burnett win, claiming he wanted to settle his differences with the Belfast fighter early next year – and was shocked to see the manner in which the Adam Booth-trained fighter lost the fight, his WBA title, his place in the tournament, and his undefeated record.

Burnett was pulled from the bout after the fourth round when, up on the cards, he pulled his back out – and Donaire will now proceeds to the semi-finals.

Tete immediately sympathized with a fighter he has been actively seeking a fight with for over a year and claimed he would give the Antrim Road man a chance to become world champion again.

‘Last Born’ fought in Belfast twice over the last 12 months, and he and his promoter Frank Warren have been extremely vocal in they’re desire to take on the Irishman. Indeed, so much so, Tete is willing to come to the Titanic City to defend rather than unify.

The South African also revealed that, if he wins the tournament outright, he will come to Belfast and put the WBA, WBO, and IBF bantamweight titles on the line against the former unified world champ.

“I was absolutely shocked by what happened to Ryan but that is boxing. I felt very bad for Ryan and I was really looking forward to fighting him because he was the WBA champion and one of the best guys in the division with a beautiful style,” Tete told David Kelly of the Belfast Telegraph.

“I am hoping that he makes a full recovery and when he is ready I want to give him a chance at fighting for the world title.”

“I want to go on and unify all the belts in this World Boxing Super Series and if Ryan is ready I will give him a shot. If he had beaten Donaire I was willing to come to Belfast and face him and I would still like to go to Belfast and defend against Ryan,” continued ‘Last Born’.

Tete will face Donaire in a unification early next year while the other semi-final will see Puerto Rican Manny Rodriguez defend his IBF belt versus tournament favourite Naoya Inoue. The two winners will then face off in the Grand Final next summer.

Burnett, should he recover rapidly, may be used as a reserve for the semi-finals but this scenario put forward by the tournament’s Chief Boxing Officer, Kalle Sauerland, is extremely provisional.


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