Donaire faces rough sailing vs African foe

Credit to Author: Tempo Online| Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2019 18:00:52 +0000

by Nick Giongco

Four-division world champion Nonito Donaire returns to active duty when he faces South African Zolani Tete on April 27 at the Cajun Dome in Lafayette, Louisiana, the continuation of the World Boxing Super Series that features the best bantamweights in the world.

Donaire and Tete had earned berths to the semifinals after downing separate rivals: Tete defeated Russian Mikhail Aloyan and Donaire stopped Ryan Burnett.

Donaire (39-5 with 25 KOs) is 36, while Tete (28-3 with 21 KOs) is 31.

While the Filipino-American is older, he has been making heads turn lately.

But Tete, who has a three-inch height advantage at 5-9, will be making his US debut.

Donaire is the World Boxing Association 118-lb champion while Tete is the World Boxing Organization ruler.

The other semis pairing will have Japanese KO king Naoya Inoue taking on Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez in May.

The survivors of these two tough semis matchups will dispute the title.

Donaire insists that Tete is a livewire foe and not to be taken for granted.

“(He) is a formidable opponent and we have been preparing since the last fight. I’m even more excited with it being in the U.S. and won’t waste the opportunity to show the crowd what we’ve been working on,” said Donaire. 

Tete echoes the same sentiment about his fancied foe but is direct to the point in his assessment.

“Nonito Donaire is a true champion and has had a lot of success against my fellow countrymen like Moruti Mthalane and Jeffrey Mathebula in the past, but that stops here,” said WBO Champion Tete. “I respect Nonito, but I have a lot of faith in my own boxing ability and I will come out victorious when we fight.” 

Donaire is one of four reigning Filipino world champions.