By Ron Jackson
In a rather dull affair Zolani Tete outpointed Richard Garcia from the Philippines by wide margins in an IBF flyweight title eliminator at the Nasrec Indoor Arena, Johannesburg on Friday night. The scores were 118-108 and 118-110 twice as Tete qualified to challenge compatriot Moruti Mthalane for the IBF title. The taller Tete (13-0, 11 KOs) who fights from the southpaw stance worked his way to victory as he boxed from the outside against the tentative Garcia (20-10-1, 5 KOs) who hardly threw a punch in anger through twelve rather tedious rounds.
Tete won every round on my card and possibly gained some valuable ring time but on this performance he stands no hope against the champion Mthalane.
Even though he won clearly the 21-year-old Tete (50.70kg) showed his lack of experience as many of his punches fell short and he was unable to work on the inside against the light punching 24-year-old Filipino.
Garcia (50.66kg) offered very little defence against Tete’s left and often failed to stop the southpaw’s jab, but was never in trouble at any time during the fight.
Referee Marlon Wright from Canada erred by not warning Tete who was guilty of jumping in and holding in a very amateurish style in the later rounds.
Garcia was down three times as a result of slipping on the wet canvas from a leak in the roof and emerged with a lump under his right eye from a clash of heads in the tenth round.
Other results: Featherweight: Tsietsi Moremi beat Siyabonga Mtshali, tko 2; Junior middleweight: Bongani Mlotshwa beat Pfunzo Nduvheni, tko 2; Junior welterweight: Brian Hlophe beat Samson Ndlovu, pts 6; Junior heavyweight: Ilunga Makabu beat Chonunorwa Gonorendy, tko 2.
The tournament was presented by Branco Milenkovic of Branco Sports Productions.