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Boxing | South Africa

Zolani Tete © Action Images

Tete, Villanueva in WBO eliminator

South Africa’s Zolani Tete could face a tough one when he meets Filipino Arthur Villaneuva in a 12-round final eliminator for the WBO bantamweight belt at the Leicester Arena in England on Saturday night.

The fight will be shown live on SS6 on Saturday night from 7:15 to 8:30.

The 29-year-old Tete, who fights from the southpaw stance, has a record of 24-3; 20 and is a former World Boxing Foundation flyweight champion and IBF junior bantamweight champion.

Since losing to Roberto Sosa on 1 September 2012 Tete has won eight fights with six coming inside the distance. The two losses on his record came against Moruti Mthalane (tko 5) and Alberto Rosas (pts 12), both quality fighters.

Villaneuva, 28, comes into the fight with a record of 30-1; 16 and his only loss was on a controversial technical decision against McJoe Arroyo in July 2015 for the vacant IBF junior bantamweight belt. Since that setback he has scored victories over Victor Mendez and Juan Jimininez on two occasions.

The rugged Villanueva is small for a bantamweight with a height of 165cm and a reach of 177cm. However, he has good head movement and a powerful right hand.

Tete has major reach and height advantages and the Filipino will do well to go the distance. However, Villaneuva is expected to put up stern resistance.

Villaneuva is rated at No 1 by the WBO and Tete at No 2.

The WBO champion is Marlon Tapales and the other organisation champions are Zhanat Zhakiyanov (WBA undisputed), Jamie McDonnell (WBA world), Lee Haskins (IBF) and Shinsuke Yamanaka (WBC).


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