Tete still rated highly despite his last defeat

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Zolani Teteduring punches John Reil Casimero The WBO World Bantamweight Championship between Zolani Tete and John Reil Casimero at Arena Birmingham on November 30, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Morgan Harlow/Getty Images)

He may not have fought since December after being dethroned as the WBO bantamweight world boxing champion by Filipino John Reil Casimero, but Zolani “Last Born” Tete is still rated highly at No 5 by the respected Ring Magazine in that weight class.

Ring Magazine – founded in 1922 – is referred to as the Bible of Boxing. Its ratings panel is made up of a dozen of experts from around the world.

“Honestly, I was not aware that I am still rated highly by Ring Magazine,” reacted Tete yesterday when contacted for a comment.

“They still see potential in me and I know that I have what it takes to become a world champion again. I believe that if it was not for the Covid-19, the narrative would be that I am at the doorstep of fighting for a world champion or I would have already won another world title and eventually got crowned as the Ring Magazine champ.” The Ring Magazine bantamweight belt is held by Japanese star Naoya Inoue, who also holds the IBF and WBA titles.

Inoue was named 2019 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year in after defeating Filipino legend and former multiple weight world champion in four weight classes Nonito Donaire, 37, in the final of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) in November last year.

Inoue also took home the Muhammad Ali trophy in a fight that was voted Fight of the Year by the WBA. Donaire occupies the No 1 spot. He was to challenge WBC holder Nordine Oubaali, of France in May but the bout was also rescheduled to a date yet to be confirmed due to Covid-19.

Oubaali is rated No 2 while Casimero is a spot behind him. Former IBF bantamweight holder Emmanuel Rodriguez from Puerto Rico is on the fourth position.