Zhanat “ZZ” Zhakiyanov (26-1, 18 KOs) and his representatives have responded to what they are calling “the deliberate falsehoods being distributed by the team around South African super flyweight Zolani Tete.” Full statements below:
Zhakiyanov of Petropavl, Kazakhstan, is a proud warrior, who has been willing to face anyone from the start of his career. Which is what makes the blatantly false and intentionally misleading allegations by Tete’s camp so infuriating.
Tete and his manager, Mla Tengimfene, have been feeding the media a fictional story that Zhakiyanov recently backed out of a purported fight between the two, supposedly scheduled for June 4 at Echo Arena in Liverpool.
One problem. Zhakiyanov and his people were never even contacted about such a fight. It never existed.
“I have never heard from anyone about this fight,” said Zhakiyanov. “They are saying I can’t make the weight and that’s why I can’t fight him. I was never supposed to fight him! He and his people are telling stories.”
Zhakiyanov’s manager, Philippe Fondu, wonders why the media would even believe such a fight ever existed when a quick check of the WBA rule book would have eliminated all talk of such a match-up.
“There were some unfounded rumors on the net about Zhanat defending against Tete a while ago, but having never received any concrete proposal from anyone, including his new promoter Frank Warren, I never paid any specific attention to these rumors. But let’s be honest here. Zhanat Zhakiyanov is the reigning interim WBA Bantamweight champion and Tete is actually boxing for other world organizations (IBF and/or WBO). Furthermore, Tete is rated #9 in the WBA super-flyweight division (115 lb.). Such a contest could obviously not even be considered, as a WBA Interim 118-lb. champion can only defend his title against a WBA top-15 rated boxer in the 118 lb. division.”
Fondu also says that Zhakiyanov, promoted by Hatton Promotions, is fully capable of making the 118-lb weight limit and welcomes any and all viable fight proposals approvable by the WBA.
“I have been in boxing many years and I understand using the media to get a fighter’s name in print,” continued Fondu, “but they are using the name of a champion and proud representative of his home country of Kazakhstan to do it and it’s not right. Hopefully the media will get more responsible about checking the facts in the future.”