South Africa’s Zolani Tete entered boxing’s history books with a record-setting KO.
WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete (26-3, 21 KOs) is a heavy-handed boxer, and now he’s got the record for fastest ever knockout in a major championship fight (WBC, WBA, IBF, or WBO).
The 29-year-old South African has competed in the United Kingdom in recent years, having inked a deal with British promoter Frank Warren. On the undercard of Carl Frampton vs. Horacio Garcia in Northern Ireland, Tete defended his 118-pound belt against fellow South African Siboniso Gonya (11-2, 5 KOs). Coming into this matchup, Tete was an enormous favorite to keep his title, but even enormous favorites don’t win by one-punch KO in 11 seconds.
Go to the 3:15 mark of the video for the fight. The replays are at the very end of the clip.
It’s a strong contender to win boxing’s KO of the Year, and it’s one of the most violent one-hitter quitters you’ll ever see. Tete previously held the IBF super-flyweight title before moving up to bantamweight, where he’s continuing to wreak havoc. Hopefully a title unification with one of the other titleholders (Shinsuke Yamanaka and Ryan Burnett) can be secured at some point.
As an aside, Tete vs. Gonya was supposed to happen in South Africa, but the provincial government wouldn’t fund it, so this fight ended up in Belfast, where fans who showed up early saw something spectacular.