klassen a rolling stone

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Malcolm "The Stone" Klassen has joined the star-studded stable of manager Nick Durandt.

Durandt's gym in Bree Street, downtown Johannesburg, boasts most of this country's top fighters.

Durandt, arguably the best manager and motivator in the country, revealed yesterday that this hugely talented fighter from Toekomsrus, West Rand, is now part of his gym.

"He is a great fighter and I truly believe that he is still going to be a world champion," said Durandt.

He will be in Klassen's corner on August 29 when he embarks on the road to regaining the IBF belt he lost to Mzonke Fana in April.

Klassen will take on Mexican Manuel Medina for the IBF mandatory rights. The winner will then challenge the victor between IBF holder Cassius "Shy Guy" Baloyi and Javier Osvaldo Alvarez.

Baloyi's first defence since dethroning Fana in April will be staged by Rodney Berman at Emperors Palace on September 13.

Klassen and Baloyi's stablemate Jeffrey "The Mongoose" Mathebula will be in action in the main bout of the Klassen-Medina fight against Mexican Julio "La Sombra" Zarate.

The winner will challenge IBF junior featherweight king, Steve "Canadian Kid" Molitor.

Both the Mathebula-Zarate and the Klassen-Medina clashes will be promoted by Branco Milenkovic at a venue which the promoter said would be known in a few weeks' time.

Durandt and Klassen once had a verbal sparring session on national television and radio stations but that is now water under the bridge.

"That also happened between myself and Isaac Hlatshwayo but the bottom line is that boxing is show business and these guys are businessmen who know well where to go to if they want to be successful," Durandt said.

"I am in possession of a signed Boxing SA contract and so is he [Klassen]. I am his manager legally."

Klassen was not available for comment but his and Hlatshwayo's former trainer, Manny Fernandez was dumbfounded when approached for comment.

"What?" he asked. "The oke just took R6000 from me."

Fernandez, who lost Hlatswayo to Durandt, accused his rival of poaching fighters: "He knows that Cassius is at the end of his career and the boxer who must take over is Malcolm. Nick poaches them through sponsorship deals. He is killing boxing."