'Durandt is not welcome'

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Accomplished boxing mentor Mzimase Mnguni admitted that Eastern Cape boxing licensees did not want Nick Durandt to open a boxing gym in the province.

But Mnguni, who claimed to speak on behalf of the licensees, said their meeting at Mdantsane Hotel was not only about Durandt.

He said the issue was only one item on the agenda.

"It is true that we are against him opening a gym here," he said, adding that they were refusing to recognise Durandt as being a better trainer than theirs.

Mnguni said Durandt's audacity to say he would not steal anybody's boxer while admitting that he will work strictly with professional fighters irked the licensees.

"That means we must unearth talent for him. Nick takes fighters from other trainers.

"We viewed his coming down here as taking a step further," Mnguni said.

Hawk Makepula and Mhikiza Myekeni left Mnguni straight for Durandt while Zolani Marali, Simpiwe Vetyeka, Sphiwe Nongqayi, Simpiwe Mabona and Phumzile Matyhila first joined other trainers in Johannesburg before ending up at Durandt's pregnant gym in Bree Street.

Durandt said opening up a business anywhere in the country was not a crime.

"Don't you think I would be rotting in jail for stealing, which is a crime?" he said.

He added that opening a gym in Eastern Cape will empower fighters who have become dormant.