Zolani Tete shadowboxes at an open workout in Belfast on Thursday. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Zolani Tete shadowboxes at an open workout in Belfast on Thursday. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Tete and opponent Omar Andres Narvaez pose with promoter Frank Warren during a press conference. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Tete and opponent Omar Andres Narvaez pose with promoter Frank Warren during a press conference. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Narvaez trains during the open workout. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Narvaez trains during the open workout. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

JOHANNESBURG – By any reckoning, Zolani 'Last Born' Tete is among the top three boxers in South Africa, a heavy-punching southpaw with sublime skills.

On Saturday, Tete gets to demonstrate his ability to a worldwide television audience when he features on a major fight card in Northern Ireland, defending his WBO bantamweight title against Omar Narvaez of Argentina.

The action will be headlined by former Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year Carl 'The Jackal' Frampton against former four-weight world champion Nonito 'The Filipino Flash' Donaire for the interim WBO featherweight title.

Belfast is a happy hunting ground for Tete, who last time out blasted Siboniso Gonya in a world record 11 seconds to defend his championship. It showed just how explosive Tete can be and put his bantamweight rivals on warning.

Tete is unbeaten in six years and yearns to fight the like of other champions Jamie McDonnell and Ryan Burnett, but the feeling isn’t mutual – they want no part of him.

For now, he must make do with a defence against the No 1 contender, a statistically impressive fighter, but long in the tooth at 42 years old.

The two-time champion, who will be taking part in his 32nd world title fight – the third most in history - is also unaccustomed to the division, having only fought at bantamweight in recent years.

Given Tete’s speed, reach and power, the Argentine will likely be under heavy weather from the off and will need to draw on all the experience of his 52 fights to trouble the South African.

“I have a lot of respect for him,” said Tete. “But I’m at my best now. No-one, including Omar, can stand in front of me. Age is against him and he is too short to get close to me. My aim is to be the best in the world.”

African News Agency (ANA)

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