KOBE – Teiru Kinoshita lost a unanimous decision to South Africa’s Zolani Tete on Friday in a bout to fill the IBF’s vacant super flyweight title.
From the get-go, the 28-year Teiru was repeatedly struck by the jabs of the division’s top-ranked contender at Kobe Port Arena. But while Tete was racking up points, Teiru, ranked sixth by the IBF, had trouble scoring. Although he fought much more aggressively in the final two rounds of their 12-round bout, Teiru was unable to overcome the left-handed Tete’s early advantage.
“The first half of the fight was terrible,” Teiru said. “I lacked sufficient strength. I could have done more than I did.”
“Although I didn’t suffer any serious blows, he was very efficient in reaching me with his jabs.”
Teiru’s defeat, the first of his career, saw his record drop to 19 wins with one draw and one defeat. The 26-year-old Tete improved to 19-3 (16 knockouts).