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Damien Durandt plays underdog card for his charge

Boxing trainer Damien Durandt watches two of his boxers in a sparring session.
Boxing trainer Damien Durandt watches two of his boxers in a sparring session.
Image: Alon Skuy

Boxing trainer Damien Durandt will be gunning for No 100 when his charge Marcus Lebogo challenges reigning SA junior welterweight champion Xolani Mcotheli at Mdantsane Indoor Centre on Sunday.

Damien's father Nick Durandt produced 97 SA champions before he died two years ago. Damien started working with his father when he was 14 years old, but only took full control in the corner two years ago.

"We know we are the underdogs but we plan to upset the bookies," he said, referring to Lebogo's challenge against Mcotheli.

"Marcus has got a tough test to beat Mcotheli in East London. I think the fight was going to be easier if we were to face Mcotheli in our province in Gauteng but we have to go and fetch the title from Mcotheli in his backyard. Marcus's style will suit that of Mcotheli - vice versa - and this could be fight of the year."

Damien's first champion was Barend van Rooyen (SA junior middleweight); Athenkosi Dumezweni (junior bantamweight) and Jackson Chauke (flyweight). Damien's titles were produced in East London.

Meanwhile, Damien's other boxer, WBC Silver cruiserweight champion Ilunga
"Junior" Makabu from Congo has signed with veteran promoter Don King - the American boxing promoter who has been inactive for a year.

King organised the Rumble in the Jungle heavyweight world boxing fight between Ali Muhammad and George Foreman in Zaire, now Congo, in 1974. Ali stopped Foreman in the eighth round. King intends to stage the Rumble in the Jungle 2 and feature Makabu in a WBC title fight.

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