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Zolani Tete on Paul Butler: ‘I want to punish this young boy’

Fighters Network

The dreams of former IBF bantamweight titleholder Paul Butler will become a nightmare on Oct. 25 according to IBF junior bantamweight beltholder Zolani Tete, whom Butler will challenge at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.

“Paul Butler is a good boxer but unfortunately, his dream of making history as a British fighter will never come true,” said Tete of his fight with Butler, which has been requested by Frank Warren and officially approved by the IBF, according to Championships Chairman Lindsey Tucker.

“Paul will never beat me. Not now, not ever. He can only fulfill his dream when I’m gone in the division. I want to make my own history and I have been in this boxing business for a while now. In the process, I have acquired a lot of international experience and that would be the difference on the night.”

In his last fight in July, Tete (19-3, 16 knockouts), ranked No. 4 as a junior bantamweight by THE RING, won the vacant belt by unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Teiru Kinoshita before Kinoshita’s partisan fans Japan.

“I think my weakness is to let my sympathy take control during the fight and not demolish the guy when he’s ready to go. But this time around, it’s not gonna happen. I want to punish this young boy as much as I can so that he can learn not to be greedy. He could have kept his belt. Mine is not for sale. I’m a record-breaker. Even I was once an unbeaten fighter and I lost,” said Tete.

“I’ve been breaking ‘0’s in plenty of my fights, so why not Butler? I’m going to break him. Paul, I’ve got a message for you: You have been cruising against opponents. Now you think you can stand in front of a well-traveled South African fighter? You must be dreaming. Come October 25, you will see. We will be prepared for the full 12 rounds but I’m giving this boy six rounds in front of me, then I’ll give him an early night.”

Tete, 26, has won three consecutive bouts, including a first round knockout of Eduard Penerio in March 2013 that helped him rebound from his split decision loss to Roberto Domingo Sosa in September 2012.

“Fight preparations are going well and I’m so fortunate to have a team that takes every fight very seriously,” said Tete. “We don’t judge a fighter but we work according to a winning game plan and putting more effort each and every time.”

Butler (16-0, 8 knockouts), 25, was last in action in June when he dethroned Stuart Hall by split decision for the IBF’s 118-pound belt. Butler vacated the strap in July to return to the 115-pound division with the goal of becoming Britain’s first boxer to win a second belt at a lighter weight in over a century.

In victory over Tete, Butler would become the first British boxer since heavyweight Bob Fitzsimmons in 1903 to win a second world title in a lighter division, as well as the fastest-ever English fighter to do so.


Note: Quotes from a release from promoter Frank Warren