Makazole Tete, buckling Armando Torres with a stiff left , may be up against it when he campaigns in the junior-featherweight division with pundits feeling he may have bitten off more than he can chew.
Image: Mark Andrews

Makazole Tete’s career will likely be over if he loses his upcoming fight this weekend.

Having scaled weights from flyweight and now campaigning in the junior-featherweight, Tete cannot go any further if it proves that he has bitten more than he can chew.

He is still considered too short for a junior-featherweight division but as Xolani Mcotheli, proved height is not a deterrent.

Sometimes talent and hard work can take a boxer through challenges - attributes Tete does not readily embrace.

While not lacking in the skills department it is the work ethic where he is often found wanting.

While his record shows two losses and two draws, it was not entirely the ability of those opponents but himself not to win those bouts.

In the first fight he had Mfundo Gwayana going, dropping him hard only to allow him back to the fight to force a draw.

It was the same with Mzuvukile Magwaca when he downed him for two rounds even wobbling him only to allow himself to be outworked down the stretch.

In both fights conventional wisdom dictates that had the bouts fought over ten rounds instead of six he could have lost.

That devoid of work ethic finally caught up with him when he was outmuscled, outworked and outgunned by Gideon Buthelezi for his first official loss in an IBO junior-bantamweight title.

His second loss came in a flash when he was caught cold by Filipino Jonas Sultan for a second round knockout.

Now having returned to All Winners Club, Tete is retracing his roots and appeared to be getting it all together when he stopped over-matched Tanzanian Selemani Bangaiza last December.

But the fight can hardly be described as such as the Tanzanian like all his compatriots looked like he had only come to the country for a payday.

On Sunday he will face a Namibian Jonas Matheus in Mthatha in a fight that will either prove if he has indeed redeemed himself or he should completely swap his boxing gloves with his choral attire.

While boxing titles have been hard to come by lately, choral trophies have been coming in droves for him due to his success in the choir competition.

His manager Mla Tengimfene is hopeful that his charge is on the straight and narrow.

“If there is one person who knows Makazole it is me,” he argues.

“There is no question about his talent but problem is work ethic. We have been putting him through a rigorous training regimen.”

Even at that Tengimfene could not take the risk of leaving Makazole on his own and accompany his sibling Zolani to Moscow this weekend.

Zolani is in Russia for the World Boxing Super Series which coincides with his brother’s fight.

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