Abey Kgotle, HR executive director at Mercedes-Benz SA, and Zolani Tete in East London on Wednesday. Photo: Bheki Radebe

EAST LONDON – Boxing world champion Zolani Tete received a brand new Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG on Wednesday.

Tete, who is the WBO bantamweight champion, was handed the R1.1 million car during a breakfast hosted by Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in East London. 

The event was held at the MBSA East London plant, and was attended by various sportsmen and women, including retired boxing champions Vuyani Bungu and Masibulele “Hawk” Makepula.

Also in attendance were motoring enthusiast Clint Weston and cricketer Makhaya Ntini. Tete was accompanied by his family and manager Mla Tengimfene.

Tete, who was born in East London, could not contain his emotions as the car was driven inside the venue. 

“Firstly, I would like to thank my parents. Today, I will drive this car because of what they taught me in life.”

He also expressed gratitude to Mercedes-Benz for the car sponsorship, which he said it’s a fulfilment of his dream.

“It’s always been my dream to see myself driving such cars, but I never thought it will happen so soon, though some people are saying it’s long overdue,” said Tete.

He said the car will boost his spirit during this period of his preparing for another boxing fight with Russian Mikhail Aloyan for the World Boxing Series on October 13.

His manager Tengimfene said Tete has been crying out to the corporate world for something to motivate the boxer for what he has achieved.

“Zolani has done everything that a boxer could do that would deserve a corporate world to work with him,” Tengimfene said.

“You can’t believe it, it’s only last week when he said he needs something to pump him up for this coming fight. But I told him not to worry because Mercedes-Benz is coming.”

He said the upcoming fight is tricky because Tete will be squaring off with an amateur who has only had four fights.

Tengimfene said they cannot afford to be complacent. 

“We are approaching this fight like any other Zolani has fought. We can’t take it lightly because he’ll be fighting an amateur. I can tell you this fight won’t go beyond the fourth round.”

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