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Marali says Diaz fight was a tactical battle

By unknown | Apr 08, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Newly crowned International Boxing Organisation (IBO) junior lightweight champion Zolani Marali says last Thursday's dour title fight against Gamaliel Diaz was a tactical battle.

Marali, who won his fourth world title, told Sowetan yesterday that he fought according to strategy.

"I had to be cautious. The plan was not to mix with him. Other than that I am happy with my performance, but most importantly to win my fourth world title. People must not despair, a lot is still to come," said Marali, the amiable fighter from Mdantsane.

Some fight fans left the Centre Court at Emperors Palace as early as the fifth round. They did not want to spoil their evening especially after witnessing a spirited performance between Hekkie Budler and Charrit Mukondeleli earlier on.

Budler won the IBO All Africa junior flyweight belt on points.

Marali, who is described as the best-kept secret in the junior lightweight division, did not demonstrate much of his natural talent on Thursday.

It was a far cry from his poetic display in April last last year when - under trainer Nick Durandt - he destroyed Godfrey Nzimande, a formidable fighter, in eight rounds to retain the World Boxing Foundation (WBF) title.

Marali is now under trainer Colin Nathan who also handles Budler as well as Jared "The Storm" Lovett, whose fight with Fernando Roberto Vera ended in the first round.

The Argentinian turned their fight into a wrestling match, and was sent packing.

Marali is a former SA, IBO and WBF super bantamweight and super featherweight champion. He boasts 20 wins (13 by knockout), against two losses.


In our story yesterday on page 34 regarding local match-ups it was mistakenly stated that Golden Gloves will stage those fights. The fact is those were this writer's dream match-ups. We apologise for the error.


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