FRANK WARREN’S SCRAPBOOK – 17.3.16
“Out of Africa, always something new” is a phrase said to have been coined by Aristotle back in the days of the Ancient Greeks. No doubt the old chin-stroker knew more about philosophy than pugilism but it turns out he was certainly prophetic when it comes to the modern fight game.
Africa has produced some marvellous boxers: Azuma Nelson, John Mugabi, Roy Ankrah, Hogan ‘Kid Bassey’, Jacob Matlala, Jake Tuli, Ike Quartey, Cornelious Boza-Edwards, Sugar Boy Malinga, Willie and Vic Toweel, Corrie Sanders, Brian Mitchell and arguably the greatest of them all, Dick Tiger, are names from the Dark Continent, including South Africa, who will be familiar to all fight buffs.
Now another has joined that fistic elite. Zolani Tete once again demonstrated not only his ferocious punching prowess but his all round ringcraft when dispatching Mexican Jose Santos Gonzalez in seven rounds on our Liverpool show last weekend.
The supremely gifted ‘Last Born” from South Africa’s Eastern Cape, former IBF world super-flyweight champion and earlier nemesis of Paul Butler repeated the explosive finishing which is making him quite an attraction over here.
He is a brilliant acquisition to UK fight scene where he says regular exposure on our BoxNation-televised bills will help him achieve his dream of becoming the best boxer Africa has ever produced.
The southpaw slugger is already widely recognised as the best boxer to come out of Africa in recent years.
He is now basing himself here permanently and will be chasing more world titles soon as he is determined to unify the belts among boxing’s little men.
Lee Haskins, the current IBF bantamweight champion, and WBA belt holder Jamie McDonnell are British fighters fixed firmly in his sights.
But all future opponents should beware. He is one of the most hurtful punchers in the business.
The 28-year-old Tete also demonstrated what a class act he is in the ring and out on Saturday. Normally Derry Mathews would have taken his usual class of local kids, to whom he gives regular boxing lessons, but as his engagement with Terry Flanagan later that evening obviously demanded his full concentration he felt he had to give it a miss.
So Zolani stepped on a did it for him. I bet for those kids it wasn’t just a class, but a masterclass.
More from Frank’s Scrapbook tomorrow