Tete advances to boxing semis after ‘ugly bout’

Zolani Tete goes on the offensive against Omar Andres Narvaez in their WBO world bantamweight title fight at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Zolani Tete goes on the offensive against Omar Andres Narvaez in their WBO world bantamweight title fight at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Image: REUTERS/JASON CAIRNDUFF

Zolani Tete’s camp has described Russian boxer Mikhail Aloyan as a tough customer, despite being a four-fight novice.

East London’s Tete scored a points decision over Aloyan in Russia to advance to the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series on Saturday.

With the win by scores of 114-111 twice and 114-110, Tete also retained his WBO bantamweight title.

However, the fight was described as an ugly bout by several international boxing publications, with both boxers docked points for holding.

Tete is also a former IBF junior bantamweight title holder, having won 27 bouts with just three losses. Coming into the fight, Aloyan had amassed boxing experience at amateur level, winning two gold medals in the world championships as well as a bronze at the Rio Olympic Games.

Tete credited the 30-yearold Russian, saying his underrated fighting ability would make him a world champion.

“He is deceptively strong and awkward,” Tete said after the fight. “I will not be surprised if he goes on to win a world title.”

Tete’s manager, Mla Tengimfene, said the Russian challenger could have scored an upset win if Tete had taken him lightly.

“There is a reason he was avoided by other boxers in the series,” he said.

“But we never underestimated him. We even roped in a trainer with amateur experience to assist us in the gym.”

Tengimfene said the fact that no professional boxer was able to win at the Rio Olympics was testimony to the confusing styles of amateur boxers.

Aloyan certainly dug from his amateur experience, using a combination of tactics to survive and see out the distance.

 

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