Unfourgettable night for Durandt

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Esteemed boxing mentor Nick Durandt got it all right when he guided all four of his fighters to impressive wins on Saturday night at Emperors Palace.

It would have been embarrassing anyway had he not done so because that evening of glitz and glamour belonged to the Durandt Boxing Gym.

It was his yearly Prive Boxing Ball, a completely different form of the usual box-and-dine.

Entrance was expensive. Only the super rich from the world of politics and business, all dressed in tuxedos and gowns, afforded the costly ticket prices which varied from R6000 to R10000 for tables of 10.

Organisers revealed that 140 tables were sold.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a regular at boxing tournaments, also graced the event.

Durandt's starlets Warren "The Warrior" Joubert and Phumzile "Kid Chocolate" Mathyila paved the way with deserved unanimous points wins against Maxwell Mpofana and Mangaliso Dyantyi.

Joubert, who has a bright future, probably internationally, once more showed grit and determination. He has fought and won bruising battles since turning professional in 2004 and has won 13 fights (7 KOs) and drawn one.

But the evening belonged to Simphiwe "V12" Vetyeka and Daniel "Billy The Kid" Bruwer. Vetyeka retained the South African bantamweight title and Bruwer held on to the national light heavyweight belt.

Vetyeka powered to an eighth-round stoppage of Nkosinathi Tshinavhe in his 10th title defence.

Lategan was rescued from total destruction against Bruwer in the sixth round. It was Bruwer's first defence. Bruwer improved to 17 knockouts from 20 wins against one defeat.

But credit must go to both Tshinavhe and Lategan. They fought courageously, especially Lategan, who had not fought competitively for two years before his comeback in April when he stopped Patrick Simelane in four rounds.

But on Saturday his dream was shattered by a left hook in round six which knocked him down.

Lategan took the count but made the mistake of getting up, only to pummeled by Bruwer.

Bruwer's onslaught and barrage of blows forced referee Tony Nyangiwe to say no mas towards the end of the round.

Meanwhile, in women's professional ranks, Julie Tshabalala outpointed Sandra Almedia and Unathi Myekeni outpointed Maria Sivhage over four rounds, while Noni Tenge stopped Khensani Makama in the first round.