Durandt and Fernandez at it again
The already combustible situation between boxing trainers Emmanuel Fernandez and Nick Durandt could explode this Friday night at the Carousel casino in North West.
These two top mentors are sworn enemies. Their tirades prior to their boxers' fights was perceived to be just hype. But it became very serious after the departure of Isaac "Angel" Hlatswayo from Fernandez's BRD gym to Durandt's gym.
Fernandez almost quit boxing after losing a boxer he had groomed from obscurity to being the SA and IBO champion. The recent departure of Malcolm "The Stone" Klassen to Durandt has opened old wounds.
Now promoter Branco Milenkovic has paired Fernandez's boxer Simon "The Cheetah" Ramoni and Durandt's fighter Lesley Sekotswe for the vacant African Boxing Union (ABU) junior bantamweight title. It is one of the three ABU vacant titles in the Triple Header International Championship event.
Fernandez no longer trains Ramoni but manages him while Bokkie Martins has taken over as a trainer back in Ramoni's Toekomsrus, west of Johannesburg.
Fernandez's fighters have not lost to Durandt's in title fights. But he concurred Ramoni was coming close to the end of his illustrious career.
"Still you cannot throw him out. He has a puncher's chance and massive experience," he said about this 34-year-old former SA junior bantamweight titlist.
Ramoni has 27 wins (17 KOs), 11 defeats and a draw. His skills have deteriorated so much that lately he gets defeated by novices. Sekotswe, from Botswana, has only seven wins (5 KOs).
Meanwhile, Ramoni's stablemate Gabriel Phakula will oppose Jasper Seroka for the junior lightweight belt.
Sekotswe's gym mate, Chris van Heerden, will fight Ugandan Hassan Saku for the junior welterweight strap. lSowetan and The Carousel casino are offering 50 readers two seats each for this tournament.
Readers must SMS The Carousel, their names, e-mail addresses and ID numbers to 41834. SMSes will be charged at R2. Winners will be notified by SMS.