The curse of Nick Durandt

2011-03-05 19:40

Two boxers who have deserted top mentor Nick ­Durandt have ­testified that a spell is cast on any ­fighter who breaks away from him.

Isaac Hlatshwayo and ­Osborne Machimane believe they are two of the prizefighters whose careers took a nose dive after their “suicidal” gamble.

Hlatshwayo, the former ­International Boxing Federation welterweight champion, curses the day he left ­Durandt’s stable.

After bolting from Durandt’s gymnasium, he lost his crown against Zan Zavek on a third-round technical knockout in the US in August 2009.

Machimane, who said Durandt was a “sorcerer big time”, ­divorced the handler a few months ago, and lost in a ­humiliating way in Britain last month.

The heavyweight fighter, once believed to be South Africa’s “black hope”, was stopped by David Price in the third round in Britain on February 5.

Hlatshwayo and Machimane are not the only fighters whose careers somersaulted when they turned their backs on Durandt.

Others include former World Boxing Council junior-bantamweight champion ­Simphiwe Nongqayi and ­ex-International Boxing ­Organisation junior-lightweight kingpin Zolani ­Marali.

Unfortunately, thought affect circumstances, and these men could be echoing what James ­Allen writes in his book, As a Man Thinketh.

According to Allen, “a man’s mind may be likened to a ­garden which may be cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth”.

So, rather than Durandt being a sorcerer, these boxers could be the ones bewitching themselves with their beliefs.

Hlatshwayo said: “When I left Durandt, who works with ­(promoter) Branco Milenkovic, to join forces with (trainer) Manny Fernandes, I went on to lose my title and the promoter lost interest in securing fights for me.”

Hlatshwayo said he could be facing doom but he was still training hard.

Machimane said: “Durandt, an acclaimed back-stabber, is ­something like a witch, big time, and this was confirmed by my defeat in Britain.

“Durandt plotted my defeat by making certain that I was told by British officials, 10 minutes before I went into the ring, that 25% of my purse belonged to him as I was still contracted to him.”

Machimane pointed out that the announcement just before he got to war destabilised him, causing him a third-round ­technical knockout defeat.

Durandt laughed and said: “Of course I am an mthakathi ­(wizard) and these men will ­regret leaving me because they will never be the same again.

“I have been a mentor for 23?years and I know what I’m doing. I have an aggregate of 98% victory every year.

“I have also made 19 world champions and 92 national champions because I prepare boxers for victory, not defeat.”

He also boasted that motivation was a key to success as “motivation can enable you to walk through a wall”.

Durandt pointed out that he did not influence the British ­officials to cause Machimane’s ­defeat because “the problem lay in their (officials) timing in ­announcing, not mine”.

Asked why he was the most loathed mentor in the country, Durandt said: “The more ­successful you are, the more ­enemies you make because ­success gives birth to jealousy.”

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