SA fighters meet on foreign soil

Mdantsane’s Zolani Tete and his team arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland yesterday morning for his WBO word bantamweight title defence against Siboniso Gonya of KwaZulu-Natal.

The pair will clash in a dubious history-making bout for SA boxing when their fight will become the first involving two boxers from the country to contest for a world title on foreign soil.

The boxers hail from neighbouring provinces, they are not continuing with their good-neighbourliness in Belfast as they are booked in to separate hotels.

Gonya left for Belfast on Friday for his first world title shot featured in a Queensberry Promotions show at SSE Arena Saturday, November 18.

With his team consisting of the fewest members in a long time, Tete arrived in the country with trainers Phumzile Matyhila and Mhikiza Myekeni and manager Mla Tengimfene with his father Zolile remaining behind.

Tete will go to the fight without chief trainer Lopyiso Mtya who has since left his technical team.

Tengimfene described the journey as an enjoyable one.

“We encountered no hassles and we are in good spirits,” he said.

While Tete and Gonya are neighbours, they will meet for the first time at the pre-fight presser on Wednesday as part of the fight promotion.

They will then have a final look at each other at Friday’s final weigh-in before the two boxers trade leather. Tete has promised a knockout to pave a way for title unification with other champions in the division.

The tournament promoted will also see the return of Irish star Carl Frampton against Mexican Horacio Garcia in a featherweight duel.

Filipino Jerwin Ancajas, who holds the IBF junior bantamweight title previously held by Tete, will risk it against another local hero, Jamie Conlan.