Zolani Tete will not allow a burglary at his Mdantsane home deter him from his goal of retaining his WBO world title when he faces Siboniso Gonya in Belfast, Northern Ireland next weekend.
Tete’s house was burgled this past weekend with thieves making off with a television set – among other household goods. The incident occurred while Tete was in Johannesburg ahead of his title defence against Gonya at SSE Arena in Belfast. The break-in is one of the latest setbacks to befall Tete.
While in camp for his title-winning fight against Arthur Villanueva in Leicester in April, Tete had to break camp to rush home after he was told that his mother’s health had deteriorated alarmingly.
This forced his father Zolile to remain behind and not travel to Leicester with him. “To me such setbacks are no longer surprising,” he said yesterday
“Every time I am to engage in a big fight something happens but I have never let it affect me and I will not do so here either.” Tete described the camp as perfect despite training for the first time without Loyiso Mtya, who was his chief trainer.
Mtya and the boxer severed ties after the former’s misunderstanding with Tete’s manager Mla Tengimfene.
Now Mtya’s assistants Mhikiza Myekeni and Phumzile Matyhila have been calling the shots in the camp.
“Yes I can say the experience of Bra Loys is telling because he is a veteran when it comes to these things,” said Tete. “He has his ways of doing things due to the experience he has amassed in boxing. But the camp has been good with Showtime [Myekeni] and Kid [Matyhila] because they have been there before so they know what to work on.”
The 29-year-old will be vying for the maiden defence of the title against the relatively unknown KwaZulu-Natal boxer. And Tete says the fight will not go the distance.
“There is no way that Gonya can finish the rounds with me, not at all. I am going for the knockout.”
The activity in the bantamweight where at least two of the world titles have been unified by Irish Ryan Burnett after adding the WBA to his IBF crown is motivating Tete to prove himself as the man to beat.
Already there were plans for him to unify with Mexican Luis Nery who ironically was in action this past weekend when he knocked out Villanueva in six rounds in a non-title bout.
Nery, who tested positive for a banned substance before dethroning Japanese Shensuke Yamanaka, has been spared a ban by the WBC with the Mexican body arguing that there was not prima facie evidence that he “juiced” deliberately.
And the fact that Nery chose to fight Villanueva has not been lost to Tete as strategy to gauge himself in the event of the unification clash. “I know Nery fought Villanueava to make a statement about me. He wants to send out a message that he would beat me when we fight because he knocked out a boxer who went the distance against me. But I am glad he thinks that way. Let him use all these antics to motivate himself but all will be come full circle when we eventually fight.”