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05 Feb 2008 09:24
South African heavyweight boxing champion Osborne “Big Daddy” Machimana (29) can go on to win a world heavyweight title.
So says Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman after the giant from Limpopo smashed former two-time world champion Corrie Sanders to the canvas for the full count on Saturday night at Emperors Palace.
“Yes, I know some people will accuse me of being crazy, but I honestly believe Machimana can bloom into a really fine heavyweight who could win a world title in a year or two,” said Berman.
“Moreover, his power has undoubtedly been underestimated and now that he’s serious about his boxing career, who knows how far he can go?”
That the powerful Machimana (111kg) is comparatively young for a heavyweight by today’s standards means he can confidently look forward to going to the United States shortly, where he’ll feature on a televised bill that will be promoted by Berman’s business associate, Art Pellula.
“Osborne’s last trip to America was very disappointing, and he was beaten on points, but don’t forget at that stage of his career he lacked motivation and self-confidence,” said Berman.
The CEO of Golden Gloves also feels since teaming up with ace mentor Nick Durandt, the hard-hitting Machimana is a “reborn” fighter and in the best shape of his life.
“They can say what they want to about Nick but nobody in this country gets a boxer into better physical shape or spends as much time motivating his fighters.”
So where to from here? The raw-boned Machimana feels the horizon and all its rainbows are there for the taking and you can bet the farm he’ll be a far more daunting proposition when he returns to the land of the dollar.
According to mentor Durandt, Osborne needs another four or five wins to his name and then he’ll be ready to fight for one of the world heavyweight titles.
“That, my friend, is no pipe-dream and once we get our spot on American television, the same critics who once wrote him off will be awed by the changes they’ll see. Take it from me, Machimana is the real deal.”—Sapa
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