Big Daddy looks to the US

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

SA heavyweight champion Osborne "Big Daddy" Machimana could head a television bill in the US in January in a campaign by his promoter Rodney Berman to launch him aggressively internationally.

"It's no pipe dream," says Berman. "Given the current state of heavyweight boxing, and the fact that most of the legitimate title contenders are nearing their forties, Machimana could do wonders."

Berman is convinced that the champion from Limpopo is now a reborn fighter since joining top trainer Nick Durandt.

"The puppy fat has been replaced by carefully honed muscles," said Berman adding that it took Durandt only three months to turn Machimana into an awesome fighter.

The affable 26-year-old fighter used to look like a sumo wrestler at 122kg. Machimana's alleged dislike for training saw him lose two fights to opponents who would not have lasted the distance with him during sparring.

They are Livin Castillo and Albert Sosnowski. Castillo is a journeyman from the US who has not won any silverware since he made his professional debut in 1999.

Sosnowski is a physical specimen from Poland whose victory against Machimana qualified him to fight for the WBF title which he won last November against Samoan Lawrence Tauasa at Emperors Palace.

Realising that his career was waning Machimana teamed up with Durandt towards the end of last year. A new-look Machimana needed five rounds only to dispose of Jake Els last month.

"Osborne looked decidedly impressive and I honestly believe that like Nigeria's Samuel Peter, he could blossom to his true potential if given the opportunity for exposure in the United States", said Berman.

But for now Machimana must focus on Peter Cronje whom he will fight at Emperors Palace on November 12.