FLAMBOYANT trainer Nick Durandt is calling time on his long boxing career and insists that he is done with the sport. Durandt, 53, first hinted his intentions to Times Media on Tuesday and then reiterated his plans – in stronger terms yesterday afternoon – to head off into the sunset after almost three decades.
Boxing SA’s deadline for all licence renewals was on Tuesday and Durandt said he had decided against renewing his licence, effectively ending his 29-year association with the sport.
The accomplished manager – who has produced more than 95 South African champions in all 17 weight divisions, more than 30 world champions and 27 international champions – sounded angry yesterday when he announced that he was quitting his life’s passion.
“I am done and dusted with boxing. I am done,” the trainer said.
“I think it will be fair that I call a press conference to give all media the opportunity to ask questions so that I don’t have to deal with them again.”
Durandt said he had informed BSA Gauteng manager Archie Nyingwa of his intention to quit, but the official tried to talk him out of it.
“[Nyingwa] pleaded with me to reconsider my decision, but I told him I had retired,” he said.
But Nyingwa disputed this, saying the trainer had actually renewed his licence on Tuesday.
“Nick did everything [on Tuesday], including paying fees for the renewal of his licence,” he said yesterday.
Nyingwa insisted that he had documentation in front of him proving that Durandt had met the licence renewal deadline.
But an unfazed Durandt maintained that he had not renewed his own licence as a trainer and only submitted his team’s paperwork.
He said the documentation belonged to his son Damien, an assistant trainer, and other members of his technical team.
KwaZulu-Natal promoter Thulani Magudulela said there was no reason to doubt that Durandt had indeed quit boxing, as the colourful trainer had told him the same thing.
“Nick told me on Tuesday night he was done with boxing and would never come back,” Magudulela said.
Durandt was one of the most colourful figures in boxing and is credited for producing South Africa’s first WBC champion in Thulani “Sugar Boy” Malinga, who dethroned Nigel Benn as the super middleweight holder at Newcastle-on-Tyne’s Telewest Arena on March 2 1996.
Among the many other outstanding fighters he has taken to world titles, he also lists Jacob Mofokeng, Cassius Baloyi, Phillip Ndou, Silence Mabuza, Isaac Hlatshwayo, Jeffrey Mathebula, Malcolm Klassen, Siphiwe Nonqayi and Moruti Mthalane.