By Joe Koizumi
Elongated southpaw Zolati Tete (20-3, 16 KOs), 114, from South Africa, easily acquired the vacant IBF super-flyweight belt as he stuck southpaw jabs all night, whipped previously unbeaten ex-Japanese champ Teiru Kinoshita (19-1-1, 3 KOs), 115, and scored a very unanimous decision on Friday in Kobe, Japan. It was a monotonously one-sided affair with Tete outjabbing the hometowner without Kinoshita’s retaliation. Probably even Tete hadn’t expected such an easy and lopsided victory before the contest, as Kinoshita was just a disappointment that showed nothing throughout the bout.
Official tallies: Chris Flores and Deon Dwarte (both US) both 118-110, and Katsuhiko Nakamura 119-109, all in favor of the much more effective Tete. Referee was David Fields (US).
The opening session saw Tete, two inches taller, began to toss stinging rights to the crouching stylist, who was cautious enough to cover him up for fear of Tete’s possible explosion in the initial round because of his twelve quick wins inside the first three minutes. Kinoshita, former Japanese titlist having defended his belt on five occasions, survived the first round, but his negative and defensive attitude continued in the first ten rounds. The South African fully took advantage of his longer reach by five inches.
Tete, three years his junior at 25, was also cautious without taking a risk to lose his energy against the Japanese foe that was obviously waiting for him to punch out, although he constantly piled up a point in every round.
It was with Tete’s sharp but sporadic jabs that completely controlled the lopsided contest since Kinoshita couldn’t come close to him and mix it up effectively—probably due to his lack of heart or a proper strategy. He looked pathetic without a game plan to win.
In round eleven, Kinoshita attempted to score with roundhouse lefts and rights, almost all of which couldn’t hit the mark, while Tete kept sticking the reckless but ineffective warrior. The last session followed a similar pattern as Kinoshita occasionally threw positive but least accurate combinations, though Tete cleverly kept his distance and connected with sharp and swift jabs. Tete looked like having won only with his right hand.
Senrima Kobe Promotions.
IBF supervisor: Ray Reed (Australia).