'I'm down and out' - Boxing champ
FORMER South African undefeated heavyweight champion Osborne "Big Daddy" Machimana has pleaded poverty and he is not ashamed of his financial predicament.
Machimana, who defended his heavyweight title seven times, declared yesterday that he was bankrupt.
"Life is tough, my brother," he said in an emotional interview with Sowetan.
He revealed that his biggest purse was R180,000 from Golden Gloves when he stopped Corrie "The Sniper" Sanders in two rounds towards the end of Sanders' illustrious career on February 2 2008.
Machimana, the somewhat flabby 34-year-old pugilist from Tzaneen, Limpopo, is begging boxing trainers and promoters for a fight to keep the wolf from the door.
"I desperately need a fight because I'm struggling and it's not funny," Machimana said. "I don't know which trainer to join because I have been to many gyms already without success."
At his age, he believes he still possesses enough firepower to compete in fisticuffs.
He last fought competitively on February 5 last year when he was shockingly stopped by a novice of five fights, David Price, in round three in a Commonwealth title eliminator at the Leisure Centre, Essex, in the UK. Machimana was accompanied by veteran trainer Kosie Wiese.
Machimana was supposed to have made a mandatory defence of the South African title but after some deliberations with Boxing SA, both parties agreed that he should vacate it and travel rather than miss the opportunity to earn some pounds.
Wiseman "Angisabilutho" Dlomo beat Anton "Rolling Thunder" Nel for the vacant title. Dlomo is still the champion.
Machimana came back from the UK and idled until he got a job as a bouncer at a nightclub in Midrand.
"There was robbery two weeks ago and we were all fired," he said.
Machimana says the last stable he had been under was that of Anthony van Niekerk and Basil Ray in Kibler Park, Johannesburg.
Van Niekerk, the former ABU and SA middleweight champion, was the trainer, while retired heavyweight Ray was the manager.
"Nothing happened there except promises," said Machimana who had been with Durandt before leaving him for the duo in February.
"I left Nick because of wrong advice. I'm starving now. Nick had done a lot for me including giving me work as a personal trainer at his BoxerCise Gym in Norwood where I earned decent money.
"But I'm not asking for handouts.
"I am pleading for fights so that I can have something to eat."