Trainers unite for fighters' futures

TRAINERS Manny Fernandes and Nick Durandt, former sworn enemies, have buried the hatchet to jointly fight the SABC's TV boxing blackout.

Arguably the best technical trainers in the business, Fernandes and Durandt are working in tandem to groom young fighters through BRD Promotions, owned by Fernandes's wife, Sonja.

"We've got to stand side-by-side and help each other during these trying times because no promoter seems to be willing to do developmental tournaments, especially with SABC having turned its back on boxing," said Fernandes.

"The only way is to do it by ourselves and fortunately my wife has a boxing promotion [company] that will help us give our fighters action with or without television [coverage].

"Durandt has fighters that sell tickets," added Fernandes.

Durandt's fighters, Olympian Jackson Chauke, Maxwell Amponsah, Tshepo Lefele and Bongani Siwisa, will feature in BRD Promotion's box-and-dine tournament at Gold Reef City next Thursday.

Fernandes will have Walter Dlamini, Vhonani Netshidamboni, Thembani Hobyani and Nkosinathi Ntshangase in action.

Said Durandt yesterday: "I enjoy working with Manny. You cannot afford not to stand with him. What works for me, works for Manny. We've got to secure our fighters' futures."

Fernandes paid tribute to the management of Gold Reef City, especially Mike Page, who welcomes BRD Promotion for the fourth time in Ormonde, south of Johannesburg.

The action begins at 7pm.