Nathan recalls scary Covid-19 drama in Russia as he recovers

Trainer missed charge Liebenberg’s last boxing match

Boxing trainer Colin Nathan.
Boxing trainer Colin Nathan.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Successful boxing trainer Colin “Nomakanjani” Nathan is making a steady recovery in Russia after being hospitalised last week when he tested positive for Covid-19.

Speaking from the Botkinskaya Hospital in Piskarevsky Avenue yesterday, Nathan said: “I am getting there.”

Nathan had gone to Russia with his charge Ryno “The Lion” Liebenberg, who lost his bid to oust Fedor Chudinov as the WBA Gold super middleweight champion at Sibur Arena, Saint Petersburg on Friday night.

Nathan could not be in the corner for his charge who was bidding farewell to the fight game in which he has won multiple international titles.

“The moment I had to tell Ryno I would not work his corner for his last fight broke me,” said Nathan, who helped Liebenberg win the SA, IBO All-Africa, Intercontinental, WBC International Silver and International light heavyweight, ABU, SA and WBA Pan African super middleweight titles.

“The look and the feel as they escorted me into the ambulance was just horrible,” he said. “It felt as if someone had died, man. Language here has been a challenge but the head of the unit speaks English and he has been wonderful to me. The rest of the time I had been using my voice app to translate.”

Sharing his traumatic experience after testing positive, Nathan said: “I could not believe it, so I requested a second test which came out negative. But because the first one was submitted to the Russian health department, they had to come and inspect me at the hotel. Doctors came and the ambulance came, and I was literally ushered to the ambulance.

“But before that I had to do a third Covid-19 test because of the 72 hours requirement travelling and it came positive as well. It was all crazy at the time. It was on Friday when I was admitted. I was feeling a bit fury to be honest and a major lower back pains and I actually thought it was from all the walking around. I then got really, really sick with my body aching, shivering and high temperature. Symptoms just kept changing from that I had severe headaches.”

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