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By Bongani Magasela | Dec 01, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

SIPHO Taliwe made history recently in Aliwal North when he won the South African lightweight belt, becoming the first national champion from that area.

SIPHO Taliwe made history recently in Aliwal North when he won the South African lightweight belt, becoming the first national champion from that area.

Fresh from his deserved unanimous points decision over Jasper "Jazzman" Seroka after 12 energy-sapping and bloody rounds, the soft-spoken pugilist, who goes by the moniker of "Tsunami", poured his heart out to Sowetan yesterday.

Q: Where exactly were you born, because I was once told that you are from Butterworth.

A: Zwelitsha in Aliwal North 28 years ago.

Q: Did you think you would go this far in boxing?

A: Not at all. I took it as a sport that I loved. It started way back at school when I was 12 years old.

Q: What were you like at school?

A: I was very shy.

Q: What do you remember the most about your childhood and upbringing?

A: I was playful.

Q: Who were your sporting heroes growing up?

A: Mike Tyson in boxing, Doctor Khumalo in football. I am a die-hard Kaizer Chiefs fan.

Q: Who do you regard as the greatest sports personality?

A: Mike Tyson. His confidence and the manner in which he fought just overwhelmed me. He feared no one.

Q: What is your most memorable fight?

A: My last fight with Jasper. I managed to avenge my defeat by him and it afforded me the opportunity to make history back home.

Q: Did you get calls from back home after putting Aliwal North on the map?

A: Yes. Mncinci Plaaitjie from the municipality called. He promised to do something when I get back home for Christmas.

Q: What were you like in your first professional fight?

A: I was very nervous but my trainer Benny Pailman told me to relax and just do what we have been doing in the gym.

Q: Are you married?

A: Not yet but watch this space.

Q: What is your other achievement in boxing since you turned professional in 2004?

A: I was nominated for the 2007 Prospect of the Year, which was won by Khotso Motau.

Q: Do you drink alcohol or smoke?

A: Not at all. I am a born-again Christian.

Q: Do you believe in heaven and hell?

A: Yes I do.

Q: Do you pray before a fight?

A: I pray every day, with or without a fight.

Q: What car do you drive?

A: Two series (my left and right foot).

Q: What is your dream car?

A: Range Rover Sport.

Q: Who inspires you?

A: Nelson Mandela. He fought all the way for what he believed in.

Q: Who is your favorite actor and actress?

A: Will Smith and Angelina Jolie. Here at home Menzi Ngubane of Generations.

Q: What is your favourite music?

A: Gospel music.

Q: What do you think of crime in the country?

A: It has got out of hand. The government must play an active role to curb it. They should also encourage communities to fight crime harshly.

It is crucial to have a number of crime policing forums in which community members are involved.

Q: Your message for Christmas?

A: It is aimed at the youth because their lifestyle is destructive - they must respect elders, buy and love the Bible the same way they love their cellphones and give a few minutes of their time to God.


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