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No SA trainer came close to Nick Durandt's list of boxing champions

By Bongani Magasela | 2017-04-21 19:30:13.0

Nick “Mthakathi” Durandt‚ who died in a motorbike accident on Friday‚ produced more champions than any other trainer in the history of South African boxing.

A source said Durandt was travelling with his top-of-the range bike in the Free State and a car turned across the road in front of him.

TMG Digital is informed that he broke all the limbs in his body and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was certified dead on arrival.

It is believed that he died from internal bleeding. Attempts to obtain confirmation of these facts from his first-born son‚ Damian‚ were unsuccessful.

However Boxing South Africa Gauteng provincial manager Archie Nyingwa told TMG that Damian Durandt had confirmed to him (Ngwinya) that Nick Durandt had indeed died.

When Durandt retired from boxing last year after 30 years‚ he became a member of a motorbike group called Crusaders.

Durandt was the son of Cliff Durandt‚ who played professional football for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic.

He was born on December 26‚ 1963 in Wolverhampton‚ England‚ and arrived in South Africa with father Cliff as a youngster.

He first learned his trade under the guidance of former multiple South African and Empire champion Willie Toweel.

Flamboyant‚ colourful and even controversial at times‚ Durandt continued to produce world champions‚ South African champions and numerous other divisional champions of the world bodies‚ and has always had the biggest stable of boxers in South Africa.

He produced in the region of 30 world champions‚ 27 international champions and 95 South African champions. No other manager or trainer in the country comes near the aforementioned figures.

Among the outstanding fighters he trained are Ginger Tshabalala‚ Giovanni “Shosholoza” Pretorius‚ Thulani “Sugarboy” Malinga‚ Phillip “Time Bomb” Ndou‚ Cassius “Shy Guy” Baloyi‚ Silence “Real Deal” Mabuza and Joseph “Smokin' Joe” Makaringe.

The list goes on: Lucky “Babawazo” Lewele‚ Godfrey “The Punisher” Nzimande‚ Isaac “The Angel” Hlatshwayo‚ Jacob “9mm” Mofokeng‚ Jeffrey “Mongoose” Mathebula‚ Malcolm “The Stone” Klassen‚ Siphiwe “Golden Master” Nonqayi.

And there are more: Masibulele “Hawk” Makepula‚ Mabhuti “Macman” Sinyabi‚ Zolani “Last Born” Tete‚ Makazole “The Professor” Tete and Moruti “Baby Face” Mthalane.

Durandt also assisted with the training and conditioning of American Hasim Rahman‚ who knocked out Lennox Lewis in the fifth round at Carnival City near Brakpan on April 22‚ 2001.

In that fight the 20-1 underdog Rahman shocked the world with his win over WBC‚ IBF and IBO champion Lewis‚ who was also considered the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world at the time.

Durandt was one of the strictest disciplinarians in boxing and there were few better conditioning trainers.
If a fighter slacked‚ there was no place for him in a Durandt gym.

A tough negotiator‚ he always ensured the best deal for his fighters.

Over the years he has received numerous awards as a trainer and manager of the year. He was awarded with Lifetime Achievement award by BSA during its annual awards in Durban in January.