In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.
Son of the talented former Highlands Park and Wolverhampton Wanderers footballer, Cliff Durandt, the 47-year-old Nick Durandt achieved fame as a boxing trainer almost by accident after starting his sporting career at Wits University as a right-wing in the colts team.
“If anybody had told me at that point that I would end up a boxing trainer of some note,” said Durandt, “I would have told them they were crazy. But life is sometimes funny that way.”
Durandt started his career in boxing by sponsoring up-and-coming fighters who shared the same gym where he used to work out.
“I was at one time what is now referred to as a security guard in some of the better-known Hillbrow joints,” added Durandt in a matter-of-fact manner, "and from being a bouncer I moved to a more reputed and reputable form of pugilism".
“Willie Lock and Willie Toweel encouraged me to become active in boxing,” said Durandt, “and a memorable highpoint of my career was the three years I spent working with the legendary Lou Duva in the United States in the 1990s.
“Before I returned to South Africa Duva gave me a book entitled The Power of One with the inscription 'this is all about some of the great boxing trainers. One day you will be one of them'.”
“It was something that inspired me,” said Durandt — to a point where he has since trained 19 world boxing champions during a 23-year career.
All right, world boxing champions with so many different organisations all claiming the right to appoint them are not with the aura they had in the good old days, but handling 19 of them is some sort of amazing achievement in any case.
Now Durandt has two more of his fighters challenging for South African titles in the next couple of weeks and if lightweight Godfrey Nzimande and flyweight Phumzile are successful, the colourful, outspoken trainer with a “love me or leave me approach” will emulate, in a manner of speaking, Madiba’s magical 92 mark.
“And I’m hoping both of us still have a long way to go,” declared Durandt.