Kalombo faces acid test in fight against Daniel Lartey
Damien Durandt believes that the fight his knockout artist charge Emmany "The General" Kalombo had with Nkululeko "Bulldog" Mhlongo was his toughest and brought out the best in Kalombo.
Durandt is the son of late successful trainer Nick Durandt who introduced Kalombo to professional boxing in 2015. The Congolese was motivated by what he saw in countryman Ilunga "Junior" Makabu, who was trained by Nick.
Kalombo had two fights - both knockout wins - under Nick before the prolific swearer yet productive trainer quit in 2016. Durandt took over and has guided Kalombo to 11 knockouts in 13 wins.
That includes the fifth-round knockout of the talented Mhlongo when they fought for the WBF International junior middleweight title last year, which Kalombo has since vacated.
"That is the fight that brought the best of Kalombo," said Durandt, whose 28-year-old boxer will face Daniel Lartey from Ghana at East London's ICC Hotel where the vacant WBO Africa belt will be up for grabs.
The fight will form part of Xaba Promotions and Events bill on Monday next week.
Lartey has 12 knockouts in 14 wins, against two losses and a draw.
Durandt expects Lartey to be yet another acid test for Kalombo. "I expect him to bring a tough fight but again that will be to his detriment because [regarding] skills set, I think Kalombo has better and he also has power.
"Lartey's chin is tough and he has a good defence. Kalombo will have to find and make opportunities. Kalombo will display superior skills on the night; no need to go to war with a fighter who can box."
He added that winning the title will earn Kalombo the No 15 rating in Africa. "He is currently rated 38 by the WBC."
Kalombo, the soft spoken- assassin, said: "This will be my biggest opportunity to shine into the world bodies."
The boxer-fighter signed with promoter Ayanda Matiti at the beginning of this year.