By Ron Jackson
A grossly overweight Osborne Machimana regained the South African heavyweight title in a poor fight when he beat Justice Siliga via unanimous 12 rounds points decision in a clash for the vacant title at the Dr. Molemela Indoor Sports Centre in Bloemfontein on Friday night.
There has been some confusion over the spelling of Siliga’s surname as some sources have his name as Silinga, but as he had Siliga on his trunks we must accept that it is the correct spelling.
The scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 on the judges’ scorecards.
There was very little action through the first three rounds as the 39-year-old Machimana (138.6kg/305lb) came into the ring with a roll of fat hanging over his trunks against the superbly conditioned Siliga (102.45/225lb).
The more experienced Machimana slowed the pace down as he fought from behind a tight cross-armed guard and began to score with some swinging lefts and rights to the head and body in rounds three and four.
In the fifth round, Machimana landed an accidental low blow and was cautioned by referee Freddy Makhathini who gave Siliga time to recover.
Using all the experience gained since making his pro debut in November 2000, Machimana was able to control and slow down the fight throughout to run out a clear winner after twelve ponderous and slow-moving rounds.
Machimana improved his record to 23-10-2, 17 KOs and Siliga’s record dropped 6-6, 6 KOs.