Zolani Tete continues Ryan Burnett hunt – but Frank Warren not keen on World Boxing Super Series


WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete fights in Belfast tonight for the second time in six months tonight as he chases a unification with local hero and WBA champion Ryan Burnett.

The South African defends his belt for a second time at the SSE Odyssey Arena tonight in the Frampton-Donaire chief support, facing two-weight world champion Omar Andres Narvaez of Argentina, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

It is no coincidence that the African has been placed in such a prominent fight in the home city of a rival – however, moves to make the fight have proven fruitless thus far.

Tete’s promoter Frank Warren has an outstanding offer to Matchroom, Burnett’s promoter, where he will cover the cost of ‘Last Born’s’ purse, allowing the Irishman to be paid more, as well as a top-up £20,000.

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn, however, has consistently stated that the match-up is too financially unappealing for the risk entailed and is instead set to enter Burnett into the second season of the mega-money World Boxing Super Series.

Should Tete enter this as well it could allow for a meeting, potentially in the finals should they be seeded #1 and #2, for multiple millions.

Warren, though, is not keen on ceding control to the Comosa Group-backed, Kalle Sauerland-run concept.

“It’s the craziest thing to have to fight in some series rather than just get the fight on between the two of them,” said the Hall of Fame promoter.

“I hear he [Burnett] is going into the Super Series but we are going to look at Zolani’s options after this fight.”

“They [Team Burnett] do not want the fight end of story,” added the Londoner before paying respect to tonight’s opponent.

“He [Tete] has a really tough fight, this guy [Narvaez] is a class act as well. He is a three-time world champion, he is short, he will be awkward, and he will be able to get under that jab, Zolani will have to punch down.

Tete, who continues to endear himself to Irish boxing fans following a world record knockout in his last fight versus Siboniso Gonya and a star turn in the recent ‘No Filter Boxing’ series, is less concerned with politics.

“I would love to have the fight with Burnett, even if they said it would be my last ever fight,” said Tete. “I would grab it with both hands. I believe the fight needs to happen before the end of the year.”

“There should be one king of the bantamweights. I believe there are two at the moment so one needs to be eliminated.”

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