Short Attention Span Classics, Volume 4: Zolani Tete vs. Siboniso Gonya

Oh, hello there. You’ll have to forgive my absence these past couple weeks as I’ve been embroiled in a bit of a legal quagmire. You see, I’ve enlisted the services of local attorney Herb Gonads, to file a suit against the planet of Earth to keep this current lockdown in effect indefinitely, and perhaps for perpetuity. After numerous phone calls and multiple lunches in the backseat of his 1997 Nissan Sentra, which also doubles as his office, he recently informed me that the judge has declared my lawsuit “baseless” and that I should, to use a legal parlance, go fuck myself.

Point taken.

Trust me, the absurdity of getting “end of summer” depression toward relaxing the laws of pandemic survival is not lost on me. But as I’ve stated numerous times in this series, I — much like a recent divorcee — have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle and I simply cannot go back. My schedule these days is usually something along the lines of 1) Wake up 2) Some other bullshit, probably 3) Get high 4) Watch “Brainscan” 5) Sleep 6) Repeat.

So I’m getting a lot done.

One thing I’m not doing, however, is watching boxing. It’s truly psychotic to me that people are using the first, and likely only, work stoppage in the history of organized professional prizefighting to catch up on… organized professional prizefighting. A short clip here or there is one thing but these people going back to watch (and post about!) round 47 of Hank “The Long Island Lugnut” Dudley vs. “Shark Fart” Jack Webster from the year 19-whatever-the-fuck, have the type of brain injury modern medicine simply cannot cure. 

I mean, as much as I want to hear about how “totally epic, bro!” round one of Hagler/Hearns was from some 22-year-old dipshit with boxing glove emojis in his twitter handle, I think I’ll keep the way back machine covered up in the garage, for now, thank you kindly. Also, it’s like, how have you not seen this shit before? If it took a global plague for you to finally check out Holyfield/Qawi, maybe this sport isn’t for you. 

Also, I completely agree with you that it’s a dick move on my part to bamboozle you into clicking a link for a boxing article and then spend the first four paragraphs talking about how stupid boxing is, but here we are. It’s like those old Tootsie Pop commercials where the orphaned (I assume) kid asks that loathsome, disgusting owl — a truly vile creature — how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop and he sends him home with nothing but a bare lollipop stick in his hands and a lifelong distrust of adults. In this metaphor, I am the owl, you are the child on a simple quest for knowledge, and I have just eaten your sucker. I do not apologize. 

But there’s good news ahead! We are going to talk boxing. And in the spirit of this series, we’re going to do it as briefly as humanly possible. It’s a very Chili’s restaurant-like “Get in, Get out, Get on with your life” approach we’ll be taking, and that’s not by accident. We’re living in uncertain times (did you guys hear about this?!) so this may be the last one of these I do for a while. Maybe ever. So it’s only fitting that we saved the best (read, shortest) fight for last.

The pièce de résistance of our collection comes from November of 2017, and it features a presumably double-parked Zolani Tete blowing out Siboniso Gonya in eleven seconds. That’s not a typo. ELEVEN SECONDS. Errol Spence’s Ferrari was airborne for longer than that. 

This fight holds the all-time record for the fastest KO in a world title fight, which should help explain why the Compubox numbers look like a European soccer score.

Tete was a tough, if unspectacular, veteran defending some dumbshit bantamweight title or another, while Gonya had made his bones fighting in places where vowels haven’t been invented yet. Somehow they both ended up in Belfast on a Carl Frampton undercard and the template for how all future fights should look was set. 

Honestly, I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to analyze here. The bell rings, they walk toward each other, and after a lazy feint from each guy, Tete uncorks a short right hook that sends Gonya to the sunken place. That’s it. That’s the whole fight. You could’ve put a donut in the microwave when this fight started and still had time to watch it take a couple spins around after it ended.

Much like a Republican senator’s plan for dealing with a global health crisis, the key to a successful boxing career is to just stop caring whether you live or die. In that regard, you have to admire Gonya’s decision to just walk in a straight line toward his much more experienced opponent and just kinda let god sort out the rest. 

The funny thing about this is that it’s actually not even the fastest knockout of Tete’s career. In his third professional bout, Tete knocked out Xolile Ngemntu in ten seconds. Apparently this dude hates watching boxing as much as I do, and folks, that’s a little something I like to call impossible. 

Tete went on to defend his shiny, toy belt a couple more times before getting stopped himself by John Riel Casimero late last year. He’ll likely be back once boxing itself returns (it shouldn’t!) but anything he does for the remainder of his career will simply be a footnote to the time he won a fight in the amount of time it takes to tie your shoes.

With the exception of climaxing on prom night, holding the record for fastest anything is pretty rad, and even then, you’re required by law to refer to your hasty load blowing as “Pulling a Tete.” 

It’s the least we can do to honor the man.


(Photo via)