Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

All avenues to prevent the first ever local shoot-out between stablemates Cassius Baloyi and Malcolm Klassen have been exhausted, says their trainer and manager Nick Durandt.

This included trying to get Baloyi, who holds the IBF junior lightweight belt, to fight Nicky Cook for the WBO belt.

Baloyi's promoter Rodney Berman and his American associate Art Pellulo were expected to dangle a carrot for Klassen to step aside and allow the unification fight between Baloyi and Cook to go ahead with the agreement that the winner will face Klassen.

But the recent end of the marriage between Berman and Durandt was seen as a last throw of the dice.

Klassen's promoter Branco Milenkovic wants the fight badly.

Two weeks ago, the IBF ordered the two promoters to negotiate for the rights to stage this historic clash. It said failure to reach an agreement by next Friday will result in a purse bid.

"I received a call from Pellulo trying to negotiate the fight but to this point there is no agreement. I assume the fight will go on purse bid," said Milenkovic who won bids for both the Klassen-Mzonke Fana IBF and Fana-Baloyi IBF fights.

Berman said there were no negotiations going on.

"Given my break with Nick, I've only got two fighters left with him. I am actually weighing my options. This fight is good domestically, but it's a damp squib internationally," he said.

Durandt said he tried in vain to prevent this clash, but in the end it was the two boxers' decision.

"They both want it, so bring it on," he said.

Baloyi will bid for a second defence against Klassen who is the mandatory number one challenger.

Baloyi, from Giyani in Limpopo, said whoever wants to challenge is welcome while Klassen from Toekomsrus in the West Rand said he would not let such a golden opportunity slip through his hands.

Durandt, who always shoots his mouth off during conferences for such fights, promised to be as quiet as a grave. He refused to say exactly which corner he will man.

"One thing is certain, this will be no walk in the park for either fighter.

"The South African fight public will witness one hell of a local shoot-out, and the sport will be the winner in the end."

This will be will the first world title fight ever between stablemates in South Africa.

Baloyi has been with Durandt for 14 years while Klassen joined him in August.