I want my crown back, Nel warns Machimana

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Reigning South African heavyweight king, Osborne Machimana, must tread carefully because Anton Nel is back with a vengeance to reclaim the belt he lost to Machimana in 2005.

"This has been bothering me for two-and-a-half years. I did not lose to Osborne but to myself," said Nel whose reign ended via a fifth round knockout.

At that time Nel was under the tutelage of Nick Durandt who is now Machimana's mentor.

Nel stopped Machimana over 10 rounds in their first fight in 2002. That was Nel's second defence of the belt he won in 2001.

Machimana defended successfully on points against Myan Solomons last month but Nel was not impressed.

"I watched that fight and that was a lucky win for Osborne. I will knock him out within six rounds," he promised.

"It's just a pity that none of the top contenders are prepared to give me action. I would have beaten them, earned a top rating and qualified to challenge Osborne.

"I hope that Wiseman Dlomo or Hein van Bosch honour our date for February, but I want to fight Jake Els. He is rated highly but if they all refuse to give me action then the authorities must allow me to go straight to Osborne.

"The truth is, the heavyweight division locally is very weak. I am coming back to try and revive it," said Nel who announced Basil Ray as his mentor.

Nel last fought on November 17 2006 in Australia where he was blown away in three rounds by Kali Meehan for the PABA belt.