Fighters stand by trainer Durandt

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Osborne "Big Daddy" Machimana and Isaac "Angel" Hlatswayo yesterday pledged to stay with trainer Nick Durandt.

Machimana, the South African heavyweight champ, was linked with Colin Nathan while the crownless Hlatswayo was linked with Gert Strydom.

Machimana, who has been with Durandt since 2006, denied the link, saying: "If I leave Nick I will retire and become a trainer. I don't see any better trainer here than Nick - I believe the job he masters is that of managing fighters' careers.

"I have earned good purse monies because of him. I don't have any of it now because we are still not paid what we should be."

Hlatswayo, who joined Durandt two years ago, proclaimed that he was happy under Durandt. But the former IBO junior lightweight champion is alleged to be looking to join any trainer who has a cordial working relationship with promoter Rodney Berman.

Hlatswayo rates Berman head and shoulders above any other boxing promoter locally, it is alleged.

The split between Durandt and Berman has caused uncertainty among some of Durandt's fighters like Hlatswayo. It was caused by Silence Mabuza's defection from Berman to Branco Milenkovic.

Cassius Baloyi, the IBF junior lightweight champ, also joined Milenkovic while Zolani Marali left Durandt for Nathan, whose fighters are promoted by Berman.

For the record, Durandt help Machimana capture Boxing SA's belt after making five defences. But the first defence was masterminded by Elias Tshabalala.

Meanwhile, Sam Malinga confirmed joining the stable of promoter Black Seoe in the Free State where Lehlohonolo Ledwaba is in charge as a trainer. Malinga had been with Stanley Ndlovu, whom he joined after leaving Durandt late last year.