Johannesburg - Nick Durandt, who has produced more champions than in other trainer in the history of South African boxing, has decided to retire from the game after nearly 30 years of training and managing fighters.
Durandt, son of Cliff Durandt, who played professional football for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic, was born on December 26, 1963 in Wolverhampton, England, and arrived in South Africa with his father as a youngster.
He first learnt his trade under the guidance of former multiple South African champion and Empire champion Willie Toweel.
Flamboyant, colourful and even controversial at times, Durandt has continued to produce world champions, South African champions and numerous other divisional champions of the world bodies, and has always had the biggest stable of boxers in the country.
He has produced something in the region of 30 world champions, 27 international champions and 95 South African champions.
No other manager or trainer in South Africa comes near the aforementioned figures.
Among the outstanding fighters he has taken to world titles are Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga, three-time South African and three-time world champion Phillip Ndou, Cassius Baloyi, Silence Mabuza, Isaac Hlatshwayo, Jacob Mofokeng, Jeffrey Mathebula, Malcolm Klassen, Siphiwe Nonqayi, Hawk Makepula, Zolani Tete and Moruti Mthalane.
He also assisted with the training and conditioning of American Hasim Rahman who knocked out Lennox Lewis in the fifth round at Carnival City near Brakpan on April 22 2001 when the 20-1 underdog Rahman shocked the world with his win over the WBC, IBF and IBO champion who was also considered the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world at the time.
Nick is one of the strictest disciplinarians in boxing and there are few better conditioners. If a fighter slacks, there is no place for him in a Durandt gym.
A tough negotiator, he always ensured the best deal for his fighters.
Over the years he has received numerous awards as a trainer and manager of the year.
His son Damian will now possibly take over the boxing operations from his father.
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