Once bitten, twice shy for Makazole

Mdantsane boxer Makazole Tete, seen here exchanging blows with Gideon Buthelezi in a previous fight at Orient Theatre, will take on Namibian Jonas Matheus next month
Mdantsane boxer Makazole Tete, seen here exchanging blows with Gideon Buthelezi in a previous fight at Orient Theatre, will take on Namibian Jonas Matheus next month
Image: Mark Andrews

The last time Makazole Tete fought a boxer named Jonas he nearly woke up in hospital after he was brutally knocked out by Filipino Jonas Sultan in 2016.

But the talented Mdantsane boxer will risk his career again when he takes on the Namibian version of Jonas, in Matheus in the chase of yet another title belt.

The fight will form part of the Last Born Promotions show topped by Simpiwe Konkco returning to Mthatha where he will defend his IBO mini-flyweight belt on July 22.

The show is aimed at celebrating struggle icons such as Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu through boxing.

Konkco will risk his crown against Filipino Toto Landero in the main bout.

However it will be Tete’s return that will be closely monitored especially as he will be moving up a division to the junior-featherweight division.

Tete, highly talented yet devoid of boxing passion, was on the cusp of big things with a world title challenge being on the horizon.

He had already moved up the ratings owing to the IBF Intercontinental title until he faced Jonas Sultan of Philippines.

All his world title dreams exploded on his face when he was brutally knocked out by the then unheralded Filipino to surrender his title.

Sultan went on to earn a world title shot losing to compatriot Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF world junior-bantamweight title.

On the other hand, Tete’s career appeared to have hit a dead end with weight proving to be another formidable foe.

He moved up to bantamweight with little fanfare until he returned to the All Winners Boxing Club where his more illustrious sibling Zolani Tete trains.

After a cobwebs brushing bout when he stopped overmatched Tanzanian Selamani Bangaiza last December, he will now step up in class against the Namibian looking to capture the WBA Pan African junior-featherweight crown to launch yet another campaign towards a world title shot.

Problem is Matheus’ first name is also Jonas and that has suddenly made his fans uncomfortable.

But his manager Mla Tengimfene has allayed fears of the repeat of the 2016 tragedy.

“Makazole is rededicated to his career and you should see him in training,” he said.

“He is returning to the Makazole people knew him to be and the fact that he will fight a boxer named Jonas will have no bearing at all.”

While it is his younger brother who has made boxing strides, Makazole is considered the more talented of the two but lacks his sibling’s work ethic.

This even though he lives a clean lifestyle with no drinking or smoking.

But at 31 years old he realises that time is not on his side if he wants to come out of his brother’s shadow.

“The first step is to win this continental belt then everything else will follow,’’ Tengimfene added.

Tete and Matheus will enter the ring with almost identical fight records of two losses each with the local having won seven more bouts than the Namibian’s 10.

Both are of the same age with their last bout being in December last year when Matheus capped a five winning streak including avenging one of his two losses against compatriot Johannes Shitilitha.