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Don't write off Marali: Tshabalala

By Bongani Magasela | Feb 16, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

SOUTH Africans must desist from writing off local fighters after one or two defeats, pleads trainer Elias Tshabalala.

He was reacting to the calls for Zolani "Untouchable" Marali to quit boxing before he is injured.

This after his consecutive knockouts by South Korea's Ji-Hoon Kim and Mlungisi Dlamini last year. Both fights were presented by Golden Gloves at Emperors Palace.

Kim, who was way behind on points, flattened Marali with a looping right in the ninth round and ended Marali's reign as the IBO junior lightweight champion.

Promoter Rodney Berman gave Marali a second chance a month later to redeem himself, but it was not to be.

Dlamini blasted Marali, who was under Colin Nathan, with a hallmark right hand in the fourth round for the vacant IBO lightweight belt.

That was Marali's third short-route defeat in four losses. Marali ditched Colin Nathan for Tshabalala, who guided Marali to victory for the WBF junior featherweight belt in 2007.

"I request the public to give Marali the same benefit of the doubt they gave to boxers like Sugarboy Malinga, Jacob Matlala and Dingaan Thobela, who all went through similar losses," Tshabalala pleaded.

"These boxers managed to bounce back and win world championship fights."

"No boxer, no matter how good he is, will win any fight if the preparations were not good," Tshabalala said. "Marali was brilliant under Nick Durandt, especially when he stuffed up Godfrey Nzimande, but everything changed after he joined Colin Nathan. He's back home now. Watch this space."

Marali's contract with Nathan ends in 2012, but he will now be managed by Jody Solomon who is doing the same to Isaac Chilemba and Bongani Dlamini.

"There is still a lot of fire in my chamber," said Marali 32, who has 20 wins and 13 KOs. He will be back in action after serving 90 days' suspension after his knockouts.


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