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SA boxing world champ Tete hopes Mayweather training pays off

WBO Bantamweight world champion Zolani Tete will team up with Floyd Mayweather Senior in preparation for his World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) semifinal early next year.

WBO Bantamweight boxing champion Zolani Tete. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - South Africa’s WBO Bantamweight boxing champion Zolani Tete says he's working harder than ever ahead of joining the Floyd Mayweather Senior training camp in Las Vegas.

Tete will team up with Mayweather Senior in preparation for his World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) semifinal early next year.

Sixty-five-year-old Mayweather Senior is a former professional boxer and trainer to his son, world champion Floyd Mayweather Junior.

Tete, nicknamed "Last Born", retained his WBO bantamweight belt against Russian Mikhail Aloyan by unanimous points decision on Saturday night, in the quarterfinals of the WBSS in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

"I am happy to work with someone like Mayweather, someone who we know is doing amazing work. We know what he can produce and what he is capable of doing. We want to win this series and better our chances of winning it," Tete told EWN.

"I'm very happy for the win. We did everything as a team to achieve what we have. That is why today I am world champion. We went there to win the fight. It wasn't easy, but we knew when we left home that we will return victorious, and we did," Tete said.

The judges scored the fight 114-111, 114-111 and 114-110 after 12 competitive rounds, all in favour of Tete.

"After reaching 12 rounds I was a bit nervous because I'm away from home and I'm fighting in Russia. So going to the judges I was a bit nervous but I never stopped believing in myself," he said.

Zolani's trainer and manager Mlandeli Tengimfene believes Tete's time with Mayweather will help him improve his chances of winning the series and learn a few lessons in the boxing fraternity.

"It's an agreement between us and them that he will be there and train with them," Tengimfene said.

Tengimfene believes Tete has a bright future ahead of him and is capable of much more.

"For now I'm working hard with him [Zolani], but until he becomes a unified World champion, he won't be happy. So it's still a work in progress," he said.

Tete is proud to represent South Africa as a world champion and hopes to stay at the top for a long time. "In the World Boxing Super Series, everyone will know about South Africa and its new wonderkid boxer. Someone who aims to keep winning everything that comes in his way.”

"People from the Eastern Cape are getting recognition now through me, and South African boxers are starting to get respect and recognition on the world stage. It feels good to know that everyone is behind me on my journey,” Tete said.