Hot Zolani just cannot go wrong
People’s Choice, and Knockout of the Year are both within his reach
November might be the best month for world boxing champion Zolani Tete after he was nominated for two awards in two different venues.
This was after the 30-year-old WBO bantamweight champion was nominated in the national sports and recreation awards scheduled to take place in Bloemfontein on November 11.
Tete has been nominated in the People’s Choice of the Year category together with athlete Caster Semenya, swimmer Chad le Clos, jumper Luvo Manyonga and footballer Percy Tau.
The winner of this award will be determined by the nominee getting the most votes, with boxing fans encouraged to vote Tete by sending an SMS with ‘sports’ followed by letter E to 33616 to vote for Tete.
By the time the votes are tallied Tete will have likely collected another award as he has also been nominated for the knockout of the year at the WBO awards, which will be held as part of the convention in Panama from October 29 to November 3.
This is after Tete set a new world record for the quickest end to a world championship when he knocked out Siboniso Gonya in 11 seconds in defence of his WBO bantamweight crown in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in April.
Facing the KwaZulu-Natal challenger, Tete let loose with a right hook to send Gonya cold with the first punch of the bout.
The bout could have ended earlier had the referee not started to count only to abandon it midway when he realised that Gonya was never going to beat the count.
The feat made Tete an overnight sensation with the world captivated by his power.
US celebrity stars such as rapper Curtis Jackson, popularly known as ‘50 cents’, tweeted about it.
While there were other jawdropping one-hitter quitters in the year, Tete’s lights turning exercise ruled supreme.
He is now a hot favourite to walk away with the award.
The boxer’s manager, Mla Tengimfene, did not want to put the cart before the horse by predicting whether Tete would at least win one award.
“We’re just happy to be nominated,” he said.
“If Zolani wins one of the awards it will just be a bonus for us.”
Tete missed out on the Sports Star of the Year in the province and nationally, losing to Manyonga on both occasions.
He remains the only African boxer in the historic World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) where he has already progressed to the semifinals, after beating Russian Mikhail Aloyan a fortnight ago...