Zolani Tete celebrates after his win over Omar Andres Narvaez in Ireland in April. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

EAST LONDON - South Africa’s Zolani Tete defends his WBO bantamweight belt against Russian Mikhail Aloyan at the Ekatering Expo in Russia on Sunday.

This fight also doubles as one of the quarterfinals in the World Boxing Super Series. Should Tete progress to the final and emerge as the overall winner, he will earn a purse in the region of R190-million.

Southpaw Tete, 30, made his pro debut in May 2006, and has compiled a record of 27-3; 21. This is his second defence of his belt and should he win the Super Series he will also receive the prestigious Muhammad Ali Trophy. The 30-year-old Aloyan, who is also a southpaw, is a comparative novice with only four pro wins - all on points.

Over the past weekend in the first quarterfinal Japan’s Naoya stopped Juan Carlos Payano after 70 seconds in the first round. In the other quarterfinals, Filipino Nonito Donaire challenges WBA junior-bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett from Scotland on November 3, and IBF bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez defends his belt against Australia’s Jason Moloney on October 20.

Meanwhile, South African flyweight champion Thembelani Nxoshe moves up in weight to meet Ulises Lara from Mexico for the vacant WBC International junior-bantamweight title at the Mdantsane Indoor Centre near East London on Friday night. The tournament will be shown live on SuperSport 4 from 9 to 11pm.

Nxoshe with a record of 19-7-2; 6, who made his pro debut in 2008, has had a rather up and down career. In December, 2017, he lost on points to Nhanhla Ngamtwini and in a return match on June 17 this year he just managed to hold on to his South African flyweight title with a majority draw.

Ngamtwini was then knocked out in the third round by Lara in July this year in a bout for the WBA Intercontinental junior-bantamweight title. Lara, who has been fighting as a pro for 10 years, has a poor record and has suffered 16 losses inside the distance. But in the strange world of boxing ratings he is listed at No 12 flyweight in the latest WBC rankings.

This is not an easy fight to predict  but Ngamtwini, who only has a 21 percent knockout ratio, would be well advised to box on the outside as Lara has won his last two fights on knockouts.

African News Agency (ANA)

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