Sun Oct 23 01:34:55 SAST 2016

'untouchable' now out of foes

By unknown | May 05, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Zolani Marali confirmed last Wednesday night that he is definitely "untouchable" here.

The "Untouchable", as this charismatic dreadlocked showman calls himself, proved his intrepidness at Emperors Palace that he had run out of opponents.

Having defeated most contenders in the junior featherweight division where he ruled with an iron fist as the SA, IBO and WBF holder, Marali has continued doing so even in the junior lightweight class.

The left-handed fighter from Mdantsane, Eastern Cape, won the WBF junior lightweight belt last November, but his victory was met by jeers from Godfrey Nzimande.

The latter, who holds the SA strap, publicly challenged Marali for a showdown that Nzimande said would decide the ultimate warrior.

"The Punisher" as Nzimande from Limpopo is nicknamed, promised to end Marali's reign and enhance the chances of fighting for the IBO belt.

Promoter Rodney Berman made that promise before the fight last Wednesday.

But it was not to be for Nzimande. He failed so dismally in his attempted coup that referee Eddy Marshall had to rescue him from total destruction in the eighth round.

Nzimande, who suffered his second defeat - both by stoppage - was actually the last credible challenger locally to pose a serious threat to Marali's throne.

But the champion gave a poetic performance that was just what the doctor had ordered for a bout at the Theatre of Marcellus.

Marali is also too big and strong for local junior lightweight fighters, something that stands him in good stead internationally.

His knockout ratio improved to 13 from 19 victories against a defeat. Their bout topped Golden Gloves' six-bout programme that was bankrolled by Gree Air Conditioners where WBF representative in Africa, Howard Goldberg, presented yours truly with the WBF trophy for being voted Journalist of 2007.


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