I won’t quit now, says Big Daddy

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

Newly crowned SA heavy­weight cham­pion Os­borne “Big Daddy” Machi­mana, the man who ended the box­ing ca­reer of An­ton Nel, says he does not plan to re­tire from the ring de­spite his ripe age of 37.

Machi­mana de­throned Nel, knock­ing him out in the fourth round, to be crowned the new na­tional cham­pion at Birch­wood Ho­tel in Brak­pan last Satur­day.

That de­feat forced Nel (47) to hang up his gloves.

Big Daddy’s age does not bode well for his ca­reer, as he is re­garded as be­ing over the hill.

The Tza­neen, Lim­popo-born fighter, who has been throw­ing punches for 16 years since he started cam­paign­ing in the paid ranks in 2000, says he won’t quit now.

He was nick­named af­ter erst­while World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion heavy­weight cham­pion Rid­dick “Big Daddy” Bowe from the US.

“I may have forced Nel to call it a day, but I won’t re­tire now my­self be­cause I still have more box­ing in my veins,” says Machi­mana.

“I’m aware that age is no longer on my side, but I will fight for as long as I’m still a cham­pion. I re­gard my­self as still young. I can’t tell now at which age it will be over for me.”

Machi­mana, who has com­piled a pro­fes­sional record of 21 wins, eight de­feats and two draws from 31 out­ings, says he would like to de­fend the na­tional crown three times and keep the belt.

This was his third fight against Nel in a na­tional cham­pi­onship bout. He lost his first match-up via a fifth-round knock­out in East Lon­don in 2002. He reg­is­tered a sev­en­thround knock­out vic­tory at Car­ni­val City three years later.

Machi­mana is trained by Jo­han van Staden. Be­fore then, his fistic ca­reer was guided by Nic “Mthakathi” Du­randt.

“I would love to have three more in­ter­na­tional fights and chal­lenge for the world ti­tle.”

Big Daddy’s next fight is likely to be a ti­tle de­fence against a foe yet to be known next month.

EYES ON THE PRIZE Os­borne Machi­mana forces An­ton Nel to a clinch dur­ing their SA ti­tle fight at Birch­wood Ho­tel last week. Machi­mana won by a fourth-round knock­out

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