The former IBF Super-Flyweight king is determined to become a multi-weight World Champion and wants to be remembered as the greatest ever South African boxer.
‘Last Born’, 28, is one of the most explosive punchers in the 118lbs division, boasting 20 knockouts in 24 career wins – 12 coming inside the first round. Regarded as one of the most clinical southpaws in the world, Tete is promising another world class performance for his fans in the UK.
28-year-old Villanueva, from the Philippines, holds a top record of 30-1-0 with 16 knockouts to his name. His lone loss came against former IBF Super-Flyweight Champion McJoe Arroyo in his first attempt at a World Title back in 2015.
Known as ‘King Arthur’, the current WBO Asia-Pacific Champion is coming off the back of a stunning second round knockout against Mexican rival Juan Jimenez in California.
“It has always been my dream to fight for another World Title,” said Tete. “I’m very excited about the fight but I know it is one that I can’t lose if I want another World Title belt around my waist.
“I want to be known as one of the best fighters in the world and clean up the rest of the belts, but first I have to get my hands on the WBO Bantamweight title and to do that I need to beat Villanueva.
“From what I have seen of him I can tell he’s a strong fighter and hopefully he will put up a good fight against me but Zolani Tete will be victorious on the night.
“I’m delighted to be returning to the UK. It’s a great feeling and I won’t disappoint my UK fans; I’m going to put on an exciting show like always.”
Tete’s showdown with Villanueva is part of a huge night of action in Manchester as local hero Terry Flanagan makes the fifth defence of his WBO World Lightweight title against dangerous Russian Petr Petrov; fierce Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams clash in one of the most eagerly-anticipated all-British showdowns in recent times; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut, with more exciting fights to be announced shortly.
Tickets for April 8 priced £50, £70, £100, £150, £200, £300 and VIP £500 are available from eventim at www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 249 1000 and the Manchester Arena at www.manchester-arena.com and 0844 847 8000.