Ever since November 2017, Zolani Tete has become the record holder for the fastest knock-out in a world boxing championship.
Any avid martial arts fan is probably used to boxing matches being a drawn-out affair over multiple rounds, as opponents prod at each other's defenses, looking for the winning strike. But sometimes, you get a flash of instant violence. This what happened with Zolani Tete.
Zolani Tete vs Siboniso Gonya
It was on 18 November 2017, at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, that Zolani Tete forever marked the history of The Noble Art. Facing Siboniso Gonya in the bantamweight category, he would slam home the fastest knock-out in boxing history, in a fight to win a world belt. That is a record that he is probably going to keep for decades, like that of Jorge Masvidal in the UFC against Ben Askren.
Zolani Tete managed the fastest knock-out in boxing history
Spectators present that day could swear that the start-of-fight bell could still be heard ringing, as Siboniso Gonya's body collapsed violently on the ring's floor. With a huge right hook, Zolani Tete literally turned off his opponent's lights. A marvellous hook allowing him to defend his belt without the slightest difficulty, but not to beat Conor McGregor and the fastest knock-out of his own career.
Officially, the end of the fight was declared at eleven seconds from the first round. A record that will be difficult to beat for a simple reason. In high intensity fights, like world championships, it is common for the first rounds to be observation rounds, where the two fighters do not dare to throw themselves body and soul into the battle, without thinking, risking their moment for an instant brawl.
At 32 years old, Zolani Tete is sitting on a loss last November to John Riel Casimero. A setback by TKO, where he would lose his bantamweight belt. As for the women's equivalent, the fastest knock-out in history is the work of Seniesa Estrada, who got rid of her opponent in just 7 seconds.