'Big Daddy' refutes bribe claim

Osborne Machimana, right, punishes Elvis Moyo during their clash at the Sandton Convention Centre. Machimana says he lost the fight to Ruann Visser because he was unfit.
Osborne Machimana, right, punishes Elvis Moyo during their clash at the Sandton Convention Centre. Machimana says he lost the fight to Ruann Visser because he was unfit.
Image: Lefty Shivambu /Gallo Images

Dethroned South African heavyweight champion Osborne "Big Daddy" Machimana has rubbished allegations that he was paid to lose.

He was paid good purse money by promoter Steve Kalakoda, but refutes that it was for him to lose his title to Ruann "Giant King" Visser.

The bout between the bosom friends took place at Emerald Casino in Vanderbijlpark last month. It has been alleged that the wealthy Meyerton-based Visser family paid Machimana, 39, an extra R150000 to his purse money to give away the belt to their son, who is 26.

The allegations were unfounded but Machimana's ballooning weight of 145kg concluded that he did not even walk near a boxing gym.

"Ruann and I have not spoken since the fight," said Machimana, who was counted out by referee Jaap van Niewenhuizen after being dropped in round seven.

The talented yet wayward boxer from Limpopo was a pale shadow of his former self. He took punches without fighting back, something that is uncharacteristic of him.

In his 18 years of professional boxing, Machimana - who ended the career of former SA, WBU and WBO champion Corrie "The Sniper" Sanders with a first round knockout in 2008 - suffered his seventh short-route defeat in 11 losses against 23 wins while Visser bettered his record to 12 knockouts in 13 wins against one loss.

He said: "Steve Kalakoda approached me to defend against Visser and I turned the fight down because the offer came at a short notice. He came back with a better offer and again I turned him down.

"I was hoping that he will give up because I had already been offered a fight in China in April. He came back for the third time with an offer I just could not refuse."

Machimana said an Afrikaans-speaking promoter called him regarding the fight.

"Promoters are used to paying us peanuts. The next thing I read in the newspapers is that I was bought to lose.

"Why did I take such punishment when I was bribed. I could have just dived after taking a one blow."

Machimana said he just could not get going because he was unfit. "I need one or two more fights and I will be back to challenge Visser."

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