Malawian boxing star, Isaac Chilemba, has mourned the death of his childhood trainer, Nick Durant, in a biking accident in Free State, South Africa on Friday.
Upon relocating from Blantyre to Johannesburg as an amateur boxer in 2003, it was Durant who introduced the light heavyweight boxer to the professional ranks.
Understandably, the 30-year-old, who is out of action through an arm injury, said he was devastated by the death of his mentor.
“It is very sad to lose such a man in boxing. He raised and put boxing in South Africa on the map. He will be missed and always remembered as a boxing icon,” Chilemba said.
“Nick was my first professional trainer. He was my cornerman when I made a debut [in 2005] and I had 13 professional fights under him.”
But how will Chilemba, who quit Durant’s Golden Gloves a few years ago for Main Events in America, remember the fallen trainer?
“He was a brilliant business man. He had an ability to take his fighters from nothing to something major. He knew how to market himself and his fighters,” Chilemba explained.
“He was a man of his word. If he likes you, he will tell you and he will show you so. If he didn’t like you, he told you in your face. He did not pretend to keep anyone happy. He will be missed.”
When Chilemba quit his stable, Durant, 53, remarked that the Malawian was a good boxer, but he never really set the South Africa boxing scene alight.
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