Durandt on growth path as he produces another champ

Ngabu floors Masson to claim IBO belt

Trainer manager Damien Durandt produces another champ
Trainer manager Damien Durandt produces another champ
Image: Gallo Images/Lefty Shivambu

Boxing SA 2023 manager of the year award winner Damien Durandt continues writing his own history as a boxing trainer.

The son of late highly successful trainer Nick “Mthakathi” Durandt produced his second world boxing champion on Saturday.

His charge Yves Ngabu pulverised Australian Floyd Masson into submission over six rounds to surrender the IBO cruiserweight belt. The fight – scheduled for 12 rounds – took place at Eaton Hill Hotel in Queensland, Australia.

Durandt was assisted in boxer’s corner by Edson Kazembe. Their first world champion was Ilunga Junior Makabu who won the WBC cruiserweight belt in 2020. At that, Durandt was 29-years old. Makabu lost it in his third defence to Canadian Badou Jack in February.

Damien’s father – the late highly successful trainer – produced 95 South African champions in all 17 weight divisions, 38 world champions and 27 International champions through the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, WBF and IBO organisations.

Nick began involving Damien in boxers’ corners when he was 14-years old. Damien took over as the head coach in 2016 when Nick retired that year.

Today Damien is 33-years old and is one of the youngest trainers in the county who is doing so well.

Durandt’s new world champ is a year older than him. Ngabu from Belgium showed his intentions of ending Masson’s reign from the first round.

The challenger forced the pace of the fight and also pressured the defending champion in such that Masson fought from the backfoot.

It became clearer as the fight progressed that the Australian was uncomfortable fighting from that stance.

Ngabu’s relentless pressure forced Masson to focus in blocking his chances and had too little time to get into his own gear.

With just a minute left for the sixth round to end, Ngabu connected with a left hook on the side of Masson’s head. The champion turned his back against his foe.

Sensing injury, Ngabu rushed in and flooded punches dropping him for a count. Masson got up but he was in no condition to continue and that is how his reign came down crushing like a pack of cards in front of local fans.

Ngabu improved to 15 knockouts in 21 wins against two losses while Masson tasted defeat after 13 straight wins.

“We are happy to help Ngabu win the IBO belt,” said Durandt who is still in Australia. “I believe that he will make many successful defences; he’s got the weapons to do that.”

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